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Valverde is Pro Tour Champion
By Podofdonny
Date: 10/1/2006
Valverde is Pro Tour Champion
Valverde is Pro Tour Champion Valverde succeeds Di Luca as UCI Pro Tour Champion, CSC still leading the Team Competition.

Courtesy of Unipublic

Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde, of Caise d'Epargne-Illes Balears, is confirmed today as the winner of the UCI ProTour, following the victory of fellow countryman Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) in todays Zuri Metzgete.

Valverde leads by 112 points and with only 90 points available in the last two Pro Tour races París-Tours and Tour de Lombardía, his victory is now certain.

Top Ten Individual

1 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro (ESP) Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears 285
2 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ Samuel (ESP) Euskaltel - Euskadi 173
3 EVANS Cadel (AUS) Davitamon-Lotto 162
4 KASHECHKIN Andrey (KAZ) Astana-Würth Team 156
5 BALLAN Alessandro (ITA) Lampre-Fondital 155
6 BOONEN Tom (BEL) Quick Step - Innergetic 154
7 SCHLECK Frank (LUX) Team CSC 150
8 BASSO Ivan (ITA) Team CSC 138
9 SCHUMACHER Stefan (GER) Gerolsteiner 133
10 VINOKOUROV Alexandre (KAZ) Astana-Würth Team 121

Courtesy of Unipublic

Team ranking

With a maximum of 40 points left in the last two remaining races it is still possible for CSC to be caught in the Team Competition by Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, however this would only happen if CSC had a particularly disastrous last two races.

With out doubt CSC have been the Team of 2006, as was illustrated in today’s race, Züri-Metzgete. Stuart O'Grady took the second place after brilliant work from himself and teammate Fabian Cancellara in the decisive break. Cancellara finished fifth and Nicki Sørensen seventh.

During the final climb Samuel Sanchez escaped from the group and managed to maintain the gap to his pursuers in the rainy streets of Zürich. Initially both Cancellara and O'Grady were dropped on the climb, but they stubbornly worked their way back together. Cancellara sacrificed himself for O'Grady, who as a result was able to take the second place ahead of Davide Rebellin.

Team CSC had a firm grasp on the race as a whole – underlined by the fact that the team had all of four riders among the top twelve.

"Winning this stage would of course have been fantastic, but as it turned out it was Sanchez, who was the strongest rider today. The whole team did really well, and both Fabian and Stuart kept up nicely as we'd expect from seeing how they did at the World Championships. We almost succeeded in our plan, but unfortunately they had to let go on the climb at the end. But that being said, they deserve great credit for fighting their way back as they did. Under the circumstances we have every reason to be satisfied with the outcome of today, especially as we also took the first place in the team's competition, which was one of our goals today," said Kim Andersen after the third last ProTour race of the season. .

UCI Pro Tour Rankings Teams

1 Team CSC DEN 353
2 Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears ESP 336
3 Rabobank NED 317
4 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team USA 313
5 Lampre-Fondital ITA 295
6 Phonak Hearing Systems SUI 270
7 T-Mobile Team GER 267
8 Saunier Duval - Prodir ESP 259
9 Gerolsteiner GER 258
10 Astana-Würth Team ESP 252

Courtesy of Unipublic

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