Three years after winning, Valverde decides to return to Vuelta a España
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Friday, August 10, 2012

Three years after winning, Valverde decides to return to Vuelta a España

by VeloNation Press at 6:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Spaniard ready to play supporting role for defending champ Cobo

Alejandro ValverdeInitially unsure if he would take part in the race, Alejandro Valverde has decided to return to the Vuelta a España for the first time since winning the event in 2009.

The Spaniard is in the second half of a comeback season after a long suspension and recently competed in the Tour de France, where he won a stage and placed 20th overall, plus the Olympic Games. Feeling that he still has more in the tank, he has decided to go to Pamplona for the August 18th start and to be part of the Movistar team.

“I was thinking about it already in the last stages of the Tour, but we preferred to wait and see how my body would recover after those three weeks and the additional effort of London,” he explained. “After the Olympics, I took a couple of days off the bike and started training afterwards, [beginning with] soft rides to kick off and then some strength work, and I found myself to be going well.”

Valverde will be aware that because he is in his first season back after a near-two year ban and also because he has been competing since the Tour Down Under in January, where he won a stage and finished second overall, his consistency in the race is not guaranteed. Because of that, he is willing to ride for the defending champion and to set other targets for himself.

“My goals in the Vuelta will be fighting for stage wins, since some finishes suit me well, and helping out Juanjo Cobo, who will be our team leader,” he said. “I know most of the route, but I had no time to recon some of the new stages because I chose to rest in the few days I had after the Games were over.”

In addition to his stage wins in the Tour and the Santos Tour Down Under, Valverde also picked up a stage plus the general classification in the Vuelta a Andalucía.

The other seven riders on the Movistar team for the race will be confirmed on Monday.

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