Valverde takes over world number one slot as CAS decision looms
  June 24, 2018 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Monday, May 3, 2010

Valverde takes over world number one slot as CAS decision looms

by Conal Andrews at 5:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Tour of Romandie

Thanks to his victory in yesterday’s Tour de Romandie, the Caisse d’Epargne leader Alejandro Valverde has moved to the top slot in the UCI’s world rankings. Valverde takes over from the Belgian Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), who previously assumed the world number one position after an excellent Ardennes Classics campaign.

Valverde’s push for the Romandie title got a boost when he placed second in Friday’s time trial stage of the Tour de Romandie. He was fifth on Saturday’s mountain stage to Chatel, then performed strongly in the cols again yesterday when he won into Sion. That saw him take over from previous leader Michael Rogers (Columbia HTC) and win the race by eleven seconds from the Lampre rider Simon Spilak.

“I believe that the fact of leading the world classification is an honour and a dream for any rider”, he said, in response to the news. “I started winning points in January in Australia during the Tour Down Under and to become the new number one before the major tours begin shows how regular I have been all through the first four months of the season.”

“Moreover my team is leading the teams classification and that is also very important. I am surrounded with very good riders and I can rely on them at any moment in any race.”

However Valverde’s victory, and his new slot atop the world rankings, will be met with mixed feelings in cycling. He has long been associated with the Operación Puerto case and on the basis of a DNA matching of his blood with blood bags found during the Puerto raids in May 2006, was given a two year ban in Italy. This ban was upheld several weeks ago by the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS), which is shortly due to announce its verdict in a separate appeal involving the rider.

This was one taken by the UCI and WADA against the Spanish Federation for its refusal to impose a ban on Valverde. There is a very real possibility that he will incur a two year ban, which is something that will be of considerable embarrassment to the UCI if he is the world number one at the time.

Garmin Transitions rider Danny Pate articulated the frustration that many in cycling are feeling with the ongoing delays when he sarcastically wrote on Twitter yesterday. “Woohoo, Valverde won another race..... Cool.... Thanks a lot Spanish Federation, UCI, and WADA.”

The UCI is yet to release the updated world rankings but Valverde is expected to now have a total of 392 points, 98 clear of Gilbert and 124 ahead of Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha). He clocked up points in the Santos Tour Down Under (6), Paris-Nice (93), Tour of the Basque Country (102), Flèche Walloon (10), Liège-Bastogne-Liège (70) and Tour of Romandy (111).

He has said that the Tour de France is his big goal of the season but unless CAS clears him, it’s seems more likely that he will miss the race for the second year in succession.


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC