Former road cycling world champion Alejandro Valverde revealed that he wants to take part in next year’s postponed Olympics despite turning 41 in 2021.
Valverde, who will celebrate his 40th birthday next month, announced in February that he would be retiring at the end of the 2021 season, making the yet-to-be-rescheduled Tokyo Games one of his last chances for a major honour.
“Of course, I’ll be 41 years old then and everything will be more difficult, but I’ve got one more year on my contract,” Valverde said via a video message.
“In 2021, I’ll be racing. If the national coach selects me, I’ll be in the Olympics and trying to do the best I can.”
He is currently in isolation at his home in Spain, one of the countries worst-hit by the Covid-19 outbreak.
On Wednesday, Spain joined Italy in seeing its number of deaths overtake China, with fatalities surging to 3 434.
Cycling is on hold until at least the end of April as the world grapples with a virus that has take the lives of over 20 000 people and left more than three billion living under lockdown.
Valverde had previously planned to use the Tour as preparation for Tokyo’s showpiece event, but has since vowed to give his all “there and in all the races at the end of the season.”
“With this stop, I don’t know if I’ll extend my contract or not but I’m planning on riding a full season in 2021,” he added. “After that, I’ll remain part of Abarca [Movistar Team’s holding company].”