Alejandro Valverde and Many Favorites pull out of Rain Soaked World Championships

Drenched in the rain

Defending world champion Alejandro Valverde cut a sorry figure as he pulled out of the rain-lashed cycling road race world championships on Sunday. The veteran Spaniard who won an epic race at Innsbruck last season dropped out with 100km to go and was part of a growing army of drenched cyclists throwing in the sponge at Harrogate as the French and Belgian teams set a pace as relentless as the rain.

The conditions were so difficult that even a pair of gritty pre-race favorites Ireland’s Dan Martin and Belgian Philippe Gilbert, world champion in 2012, dropped out.

Flooded roads didn’t stop everyone.

Photos: Bettini

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