Valverde's Worlds win was anything but a surprise, says coach

Alejandro Valverde (Spain) expresses genuine shock at winning the world title after being forced to

At 38, Alejandro Valverde is the second oldest winner in history of the World Championships elite men’s road race. The Spaniard had looked to be on the back foot in the final week of the Vuelta a España and until Sunday in Innsbruck he held the all-time record for podium finishes in the Worlds without actually netting gold. But Mikel Zabala, the Movistar coach overseeing Valverde’s training throughout the season, believes that the victory in Innsbruck , which saw the veteran finally break through a glass ceiling that has been resisting him for 15 years, was definitely on the cards before Sunday. "He’s had an exceptional season this year and the Vuelta a España this year was very good for him too," Zabala told Cyclingnews . "It was an exceptionally fast Vuelta in the high mountains, this year, as hotly disputed as the Tour de France. Even so, he was ...

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