Valverde pulls out of this weekend’s Tour du Haut Var
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Friday, February 19, 2010

Valverde pulls out of this weekend’s Tour du Haut Var

by Conal Andrews at 6:30 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Tour of the Mediterranean victor Alejandro Valverde has withdrawn from this weekend’s Tour du Haut Var, citing tiredness as the reason.

“I would have like to participate because the profile of both the stages is suited for my characteristics,” he said on his blog. “But in fact after the Mediterranean Tour, which was rather exhausting because of the cold weather, it is wiser to stop a little bit before I start competing again.”

Valverde infiltrated an important break on day one of the event, this group establishing a near-two minute lead over the rest of the field and virtually guaranteeing that winner would be one of those present in the move.

He then made a big effort on the final stage, placing second behind Francesco Masciarelli (Acqua e Sapone). This left him two seconds ahead of Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale) and a further three up on Maxim Iglinsky (Astana).

It was his first win of the season, following on from some solid performances in Australia and Mallorca. However, given the volume of racing he has already done, the Caisse d’Epargne rider wants to ensure that he doesn’t hit a peak too soon.

“This year I started racing very early in Australia on the occasion of the Tour Down Under and last week, after the two first stages of the Challenge of Mallorca, I started immediately in the Mediterranean Tour. Everything went very well [there], considering I won the stage race,” he said.

Valverde will return to action in just over a week’s time, using the time before then to remain with his new son.

“I will now quietly rest at home to recover and start competing again on Sunday February 28 in the Classic of Almeria,” he explained. “I will take advantage of the next days to spend some more time with Pablo, who is growing a lot and is fortunately in good health.”

The 30 year old is currently waiting for the outcome of a CAS hearing held in January, concerning his two year ban in Italy. Valverde was blocked from competing there after DNA testing reportedly matched his blood to full transfusion bags found during the Operación Puerto raids in 2006.

He denies any involvement, and is also contesting a UCI/WADA appeal to CAS to force the Spanish cycling federation to sanction him.


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