The manner of Alejandro Valverde’s victory at La Fleche Wallonne was a reminder this is a man in stunning form.
The Movistar rider has been back to his best this season and a third Liege-Bastogne-Liege title – and a repeat of his Belgian Ardennes Classics double from 2006 – seems within his grasp if he is able to repeat his scintillating form of recent weeks.
In the Tour of the Basque Country, Valverde attacked and counter-attacked with regularity, and looked at ease both when climbing and contesting the sprints, too.
And he has followed it with fourth at the Amstel Gold Race and victory at La Fleche Wallonne – his seventh win of the season, and fourth in one-day races.
The Spaniard, who is likely to lead Movistar at the Tour de France, now has the chance to get an early-season strike over the likes of Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).