Oakley Takes 1, 2 in Dauphine Libere
Oakley’s Alejandro Valverde of Spain won the Dauphiné Libéré, the last real pre-Tour de France test, on Sunday for the second consecutive year.
Valverde ended the eight-day, 640-mile race in 26 hours 33 minutes 15 seconds, finishing 16 seconds ahead of Oakley’s Cadel Evans of Australia, who finished second in the general classification for the third year running.
Despite not having won a stage in the race, as he did en route to victory in the 2008 Dauphine, Caisse d’Epargne rider Valverde dominated proceedings after taking the lead from Evans on Thursday.
“The stage was very difficult,‘’ Valverde told reporters. "My team did a fantastic job. Evans must have attacked about 15 times during the last climb. I expected it. He is very strong. It was the most important stage.’’
Evans had tried to break Valverde’s spirit on several occasions but every time the Spaniard some how dug deep into his physical resources to get back on his wheel.
“I have nothing to regret, I did everything,‘’ said Evans. "Maybe I’ll finish second again. I only hope that it’ll work out differently in the Tour de France.’’
Oakley Stage Wins:
Cadel Evans – Stage 1
Bert Grabsch – Stage 4
Silvester Smyzd – Stage 5
Pierrick Fedrigo – Stage 6