Valverde critical of Mitchelton-Scott after Movistar leads Vuelta a Espana chase
05 September 2018 08:55
Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) criticized Mitchelton-Scott for their "failure" to chase down Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) when the Frenchman made a long-distance attack during stage 11 of the Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday, threatening the race lead of Simon Yates. In the second half of a hilly 200km stage, Valverde's Movistar team did the bulk of the work to keep a 20-rider break including Pinot under control. Already the winner of two stages in this year's Vuelta, the Spaniard is lying one second behind Yates in the overall standings, whilst his Colombian teammate Nairo Quintana is in third place, 14 seconds down.ADVERTISEMENT "Mitchelton don't work [to bring back breaks] because that's not their philosophy," Valverde claimed to a group of Spanish-speaking media after the stage. "They only work when they want to do harm, but when it's to defend a lead, it's hard to see them do that. The only team that worked to pull back the breakaway has been us." Valverde's teammate Quintana was somewhat milder in his criticisms but also commented that "[Mitchelton-Scott] were always on our wheels. That's the way they work."
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