Route d’Occitanie: Valverde seals overall victory

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) sealed final overall victory at Route d’Occitanie after he placed second behind Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) on stage 4 in Cazouls-les-Béziers.

Already overall leader after winning Saturday’s queen stage, Valverde went on the offensive once more on the final leg, attacking in the company of his compatriot Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) with 68km remaining after the day’s early break had been swept up.

With the category 1 Pic de Nore already behind them, Valverde and Sanchez made light work of the rugged terrain that followed. They had a lead of two minutes when they reached the summit of the category 2 Côte de la Minerve and despite the efforts of Cofidis, they still had 1:50 in hand atop the category 3 Côte de Villespassans.

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On the flat run-in to the finish, Cofidis were aided in their pursuit by AG2R La Mondiale, Caja Rural-RGA Seguros and Delko-Marseille, and the Spanish duo’s lead began to fall away in the final 25 kilometres.

Valverde and Sanchez still had 9 seconds at the flamme rouge. Valverde led into the finishing straight, but the reduced bunch sprint was kicking off behind him, and he was overhauled by Roux in the closing metres.

Evaldas Siskevicius (Delko Marseille-Provence KTM) took third on the stage, ahead of Yevgeniy Gidich (Astana) and Kevin Ledanois (Fortuneo-Samsic).

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