World champion Alejandro Valverde, injured in a training fall, has pulled out of the Giro d’Italia, his team announced on Friday.
Movistar said in a statement the 39-year-old racer had not recovered in time for the May 11 start of the Giro after a training fall last week that left him with bruising to the base of his spine.
“The world champion will be resting without risking his recovery and will get back to normal in the coming weeks,” the statement said.
Valverde, third overall in Giro d’Italia 2016, said he was sorry to miss a “great race” like the Giro but told his social media followers he would be 100 percent ready for the rest of the year.
Eusebio Unzue said in an interview to Spanish newspaper El Pais that the rider could now consider participating in the Tour de France, a race in which Nairo Quintana will be the leader. Valverde also has the Vuelta a España as a big part of the second half of his season.