Sport

Champion Valverde pulls out of drenched world road race

Champion Valverde pulls out of drenched world road race
  • Defending world champion Alejandro Valverde cut a sorry figure as he pulled out of the rain-lashed cycling road race world championships on Sunday.
  • The veteran Spaniard who won an epic race at Innsbruck last season dropped out with 100km to go.
  • The conditions were so difficult that even a pair of gritty pre-race favourites Ireland’s Dan Martin and Belgian Philippe Gilbert, world champion in 2012, dropped out.

HARROGATE: Defending world champion Alejandro Valverde cut a sorry figure as he pulled out of the rain-lashed cycling road race world championships on Sunday.

The veteran Spaniard who won an epic race at Innsbruck last season dropped out with 100km to go and was part of a growing army of drenched cyclists throwing in the sponge at Harrogate as the French and Belgian teams set a pace as relentless as the rain.

The conditions were so difficult that even a pair of gritty pre-race favourites Ireland’s Dan Martin and Belgian Philippe Gilbert, world champion in 2012, dropped out.