Ever present Alejandro Valverde decided to forego Paris-Roubaix last weekend, instead saving himself for a midweek recce ride over the same cobblestones, because why not.
The Movistar rider decided he didn’t want to ride with other dirty sweaty riders, choosing to ride a shortened version of the course with the likes of Nairo Quintana, who were both riding to get themselves ready for the Tour de France will include the pavé of northern France.
The 37-year-old recorded his ride, uploading it to Strava later the same day and showed off a host of new KOMs. Like that one rider on everyone’s Strava feed, Valverde seemingly went out to smash the KOMs on the different pavé sectors days after everyone raced.
It is also telling as well with the Spaniard riding just 113km instead of the 266km, which is the classic KOM hunter tactic. Regardless of the his methods, Valverde showed why he is still on top form as he also prepares for his favourite part season.
Snagging three KOMs and a plethora of top 10s, Valverde then ended his ride inside the Roubaix velodrome, the ending point for the Hell of the North.
The ride wasn’t as fast as the race, given the circumstances with the experienced rider managing just under 35km/h average over the 113km course, completing the ride in three hours, 14 minutes and 58 seconds.
Valverde managed to hit a top speed of 66.6km/h on the day which is actually pretty impressive when you realise he doesn’t have a peloton around him.
With Amstel Gold Race coming up for the Movistar rider, Valverde will be hoping that his efforts at Dwars Door Vlaanderen, where he finished 11th, and his overall victories at Volta a Catalunya and the Abu Dhabi Tour will have prepared him for a maiden victory at the Dutch race.
So much so we have put him as one of our riders to watch at the race this weekend, alongside four others.