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Valverde’s Spain triumphs at the 2014 UCI WorldTour awards ceremony

F. Contador, E. Unzue, UCI President B. Cookson, A. Valverde and J. L. Lopez Cerron
F. Contador, E. Unzue, UCI President B. Cookson, A. Valverde and J. L. Lopez Cerron

It was the second consecutive year that Spain hosted the UCI WorldTour ceremony. Organised by the Higher Council of Sports last year, the ceremony yesterday took place at the headquarters of Telefonica, the parent company of Team Movistar.

The UCI President Brian Cookson awarded the trophies to the winners in the presence of the President of the Higher Council of Sports Mr Miguel Cardenal Carro, and in front of some 30 journalists, photographers and cameramen.

Winner of the 2014 UCI WorldTour individual ranking, Alejandro Valverde did not hide his pleasure after the awards ceremony: “It’s the culmination of an exceptional year,” declared the 34-year-old athlete who finished 4th in the Tour de France and 3rd in the UCI Road World Championships. “I am sorry I did not make the podium of the Tour, but in 2015, together with the Worlds (in Richmond, USA) it will again be my goal.”

2014 was a great year for Valverde on both a sporting and personal level: the World Championships in Ponferrada had barely finished when he joined his wife who had just given birth to baby Natalia, his fourth child but his first girl.

Already winner of the UCI ProTour in 2006 and 2008, Valverde received his award in the presence of his team mate Nairo Quintana, freshly arrived from Colombia for Movistar Team’s first training camp after a post-season break, in Navarre. The UCI WorldTour team will start the new season with the title best team of 2014 UCI WorldTour. The prize was awarded to the mobile operator’s General Manager Eusebio Unzue.

Spanish road cycling also left the ceremony with the trophy for the best nation of the 2014 UCI WorldTour, which was presented to José Luis Lopez Cerron, President of the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC).

Alberto Contador, 2nd in the individual rankings, asked his brother and manager Fran to accept his trophy on his behalf. The leader of the Team Tinkoff-Saxo has already left for a team building camp on Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, East Africa.

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