Valverde leads the Vuelta after the first open road stage, but does hereally expect to stay in front after what promises to be three hardweeks of racing?
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

The Spaniard leads after winning Stage 2 in magnificent style and subsequently took the ascendancy on the overall standings.

Cast your mind back to the first week in July in France where he was in exactly the same position only to spiral his way down the order well before the Tour ended in Paris.

He wore the Tour's yellow jersey for a handful of days and there's no reason to suggest he won't do the same on his native soil.

Valverde certainly likes to go hard very early, but hasn't he learned from previous experience?

Perhaps he has and is using this success as a way of showing his form is good, particularly after the Olympics.

There's no doubt, he has the power in his legs to win stages, but do the legs have the endurance to win the season's final Grand Tour?

Unless he relinquishes the race lead when the Vuelta hits the mountains in the second week, it's fair to say Valverde's chances of winning from start to finish are virtually impossible.

He's no fool and certainly wants to improve on his performance from 2006 when he finished runner-up on the general classification.

Indeed, Valverde has made a solid start in 2008 and there's every chance he'll be there or thereabouts when the Vuelta reaches Madrid on September 21.