Valverde calls an end to 2009
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Valverde calls an end to 2009

by Ben Atkins at 10:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Fall Classics
World number one Alejandro Valverde has decided, with the agreement of his Caisse d’Epargne team, to call an end to his 2009 season. The Vuelta a España winner will therefore not take part in the upcoming end of season races, Paris-Bourges and Paris-Tours.

As well as taking his first ever Grand Tour victory in Spain last month Valverde won the Volta a Catalunya, the Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré and the Vuelta a Burgos this season. 2009 has been by no means plain sailing though as the Italian Olympic Association (CONI) claimed to have proved a link between Valverde and some of the bags of blood captured by Spanish police in Operation Puerto.

This claimed proof led to CONI issuing Valverde with a two-year ban from competing in any race in Italy. The ban meant that not only did he have to sit out races like the Giro d’Italia and this month’s Giro di Lombardia, but because of the Tour de France passing through Italy on stage 16 on its way from Martigny, Switzerland to Bourg Saint-Maurice, France, it meant that he was prevented from taking part in what would have normally been the main target of his season.

“After I won the Tour of Spain, I directly went to the World Championships of Mendrisio, without any transition,” said Valverde in a press statement. “Now I need to rest a little bit, physically and mentally, before I think in the next season and start training again.” He will take part in several criteriums organized during the following weeks, including a race against sled dogs in Valencia this Sunday.

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