Valverde rebounds with San Sebastian Classic win

AP - Sports

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (AP) -- Alejandro Valverde rebounded from missing the podium at the Tour de France by winning the San Sebastian Classic on Saturday.

The Movistar rider neutralized a late attack by rival Joaquim Rodriguez before breaking away on a downhill stretch with just over three kilometers (about two miles) to go while arriving to the Basque coastal city.

Valverde had time to raise both fists in victory as he finished the 219-kilometer (139-mile) mountainous trek in 5 hours, 31 minutes, 16 seconds.

Bauke Mollema was runner-up, 14 seconds behind, followed closely by Rodriguez with the same time.

''I knew that if I was able to get ahead on the (last) climb they wouldn't catch me doing down,'' Valverde said.

Valverde finished the Tour de France in fourth place six days ago after struggling in the final stages.

This was his second victory in the one-day classic in northern Spain after first winning it in 2008. The Spaniard also finished second in last year's edition.

Peter Sagan and Philippe Gilbert, two other pre-race favorites, both withdrew during the event.

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