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A little speculation on Valverde
Last Post 03/30/2021 02:50 PM by Orange Crush. 5 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:2776

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03/25/2021 10:52 AM
Valverde is still a very strong rider at 41 years old.  Now we know he was a client of Fuentes and part of the blood doping crowd.  I presume he is riding clean or close to it now.

Valverde has always been a very strong rider but he didn't make you say OMG in the doping days.  He was just one of the better of the dopers.  Not winning tour after tour.  Not riding like Merckx in the classics.  He never really came to my attention.  (Yeah, some of that is on me.)

So my thought - I wonder if he is an exceptionally strong rider cursed (!) with a high hematocrit (sp) who benefited less from the doping but gets to benefit from his naturally high HC now.  In any case, I'm glad he is still around.  He's fun to watch!
6ix

Posts:413

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03/26/2021 07:24 AM
I thought it was always known that Valverde was part of Operation Puerto. Isn't that why he served a 2-year ban?

Not sure if it was 2003 or 2004, but I do recall him riding for Banesto and winning a mountain stage in the Tour. Maybe a few stages. He was young and punchy. Plus, come on, he was riding for Banesto!! Not exactly a clean team by any stretch so figured it was a given that he was super-doping.

Fast-forward to the present and I suspect his form is a result of being a seriously gifted athlete combined with the lasting effects of training and racing while on jet fuel. Look at Rebellin to see how well that works. Or even Armstrong when he came back to haunt the peloton at 39 years old.

Whatever the case, I have always liked his riding style especially in the classics.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:3633

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03/26/2021 08:44 AM
he didn't make you say OMG in the doping days.


I think I would disagree here....he was one of those guys who could seemingly do everything...small bunch sprints to shorter stage races to mountain climbs to classics to podium finishes in GT's. And he was ALWAYS there, winning from February to the end of the year.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:3648

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03/29/2021 10:47 AM
He got his nickname the unbeatable one as a junior so whatever he did it was superimposed on a lot of natural talent. FWIW, he sits in # 4 spot of the all-time rankings so is a true legend. Next highest active riders (Nibali, Gilbert, Sagan) sit somewhere in top 20-30.

In my mind Valverde came out of each winter roaring and won a lot in spring. By July the rest of pack caught up and his winning percentage in summer was always relatively low, just one of the guys. But come fall when everyone fatigued he remained in good form and winning percentage went up again.
longslowdistance

Posts:2464

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03/30/2021 02:06 PM
“All time greats” ranking would be great click bait. Link?
Orange Crush

Posts:3648

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03/30/2021 02:50 PM
LSD - https://www.cyclingranking.com/
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