VN news ticker: Alejandro Valverde wins GP Miguel Indurain; Deceuninck-Quick-Step to ride clinchers at Tour of Flanders

Here's the news making headlines for Saturday, April 3.

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Alejandro Valverde attacks out of escape group to win GP Miguel Indurain

Alejandro Valverde punched away on the final climb to score his third win at the GP Miguel Indurain on Saturday, netting the first victory for Team Movistar of the year.

The Spanish veteran attacked out of the escape group to drop Astana-Premier Tech duo Luis León Sánchez and Alexey Lutsenko at two kilometers to go before descending into Estella to win by a handful of seconds.

“Astana was the strongest team,” Valverde said. “This is for everybody that supports me and loves cycling. Lutsenko and Sánchez were very strong and I knew it would be complicated. I saved myself for the last attack. Thanks to my team.”

Valverde, 40, has enjoyed a strong start to his 19th year in the pro peloton, taking four top-8 finishes at last month’s Volta a Catalunya and finishing fourth overall. He now heads to the Tour of the Basque country, starting Monday, where he will lead Movistar alongside young talent Enric Mas.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step to race the Tour of Flanders on clinchers

Deceuninck-Quick-Step will race on clincher tires at Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.

Julian Alaphilippe and Co. will use Specialized clincher tires for the cobblestone monument after three years of increasingly using the system rather than the more commonly used tubular setup.

“After one ‘transition’ year of testing, and with already several years racing clinchers in TT as the fastest option, in 2021 we decided to move forward with clinchers for all types of racing,” said team technical and development manager Ricardo Scheidecker.

“Based on the data we have collected from extensive testing, we arrived to the level of being very comfortable with our choice knowing that we have the fastest setups, even for the demanding cobbled classics,” he continued. “Clinchers are part of the future in terms of performance and the combination with the new generation of Roval wheels is perfect. ”

After a recon of the cobbles Friday, the team has opted to use Roval Rapide CLX wheels with Specialized Turbo Cotton ‘Hell of the North” clinchers. The tires are 28mm wide and feature a 320TPI casing which Specialized states provides “a 15 percent improvement in damping over traditional clinchers, while shaving rolling resistance by 20 percent over other tires designed for rough roads.”