At the end of the season, Alejandro Valverde will retire from the pro peloton. The Murcian has announced his intention to hang up the bike in the Spanish press.
Valverde, 41 in April, is probably the most complete cyclist the peloton has seen in the last 20 years. A talented puncher, he also knew how to compete with the best climbers. Winner of the Vuelta 2009, he has a total of 8 podiums on the Grand Tours.
But it was especially in the Ardennes Classics that he imposed his legacy. King of the Mur de Huy five times, he triumphed four times at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Six times on the podium of the World Championship, 11 times in the top 10 in 14 participations, he believed for a long time that the rainbow would be a forbidden dream for him before experiencing the apotheosis in Innsbruck in 2018.
“I start the season at 40 years old, with the idea that it’s going to be my last. It’s going to be a special year, and hopefully, we can race all the races, despite the virus,” Valverde said. “I hope to be at the Ardennes, the Olympic Games, and the Vuelta as my top goals.”
“We have a very ambitious season ahead of us,” says Movistar boss Eusebio Unzué. “With Annemiek, the women’s team can take a big step forward. And the northern classics will be a new big goal for us with Iván, and we hope we can win one of those races that we do not have on our palmarès.”