Valverde secures maiden Basque Tour win

Movistar's Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde is greeted by cycling fans on April 8, 2017 after the last day of the 2017 Tour of the Basque country

Veteran Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde continued his sensational early season form by winning the Tour of the Basque Country for the first time.

Valverde finished second in Saturday's sixth and final stage individual time trial to win by 17 seconds overall ahead of old rival Alberto Contador with Ion Izagirre completing an all-Spanish podium.

Slovenia's Primoz Roglic won the stage in 35min 58sec for the 27.7km course.

Valverde, 36, adds to his victories in the Tours of Andalusia and Catalonia already this season.

"I have been desperate to win the Tour of the Basque Country for a long time," said Valverde.

"I have been coming here for many years and always been close, but this year it seems like I am in form and to win it leaves a very special taste."

Contador was fourth on the day to complete a hat-trick of second place finishes behind Valverde in the three Spanish spring tours.

"It's been a race in which I've been through everything: falls, punctures, breakdowns, the fall of Samu (Sanchez) in front of me and, to top it all, today the radio did not work almost from the start," said Contador.

"Not much luck has accompanied me, but if that changes for me in another race, which is what I want, I'm okay with it happening here."