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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Tour of Spain: Alejandro Valverde: “I wanted to say goodbye without dragging myself”

Peloton’s grandfather, 42, faces the Vuelta a Espaa of his goodbyes. A round in which he already has 15 participations, one outright win and 12 partial wins.

With Valverde, New Jersey.Movistar
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Alexander Valverde42-year-old, the oldest in the platoon, sees weapons in Utrecht, where this Friday trip to spain, A special edition, the last big round before the farewell, takes place on 8 October at the Giro di Lombarda. The Spanish runner with the most victories (133) participates in an event organized by Unipublik aimed at helping Enrique More In the conquest of positions of honor, but, above all, with the intention of having fun. If I manage to win a stage it will be a great culmination, but that doesn’t bother me, he warns. Valverde won the 2009 edition, who also came from the Netherlands. His record in the Spanish round includes 12 partial wins, three second places overall and three third places.

In the Vuelta a Espaa of Your Farewell, what do you feel before you begin, emotion, sadness, joy, relief?
Above all, emotion. As time passes you get used to the idea that it is over.
Wouldn’t it take a step back, as has happened on other occasions?
No, I have it very clear, it is a decision that has been made and it will not change.
Who was more influential in the decision to withdraw, family, the team or myself?
I. You have to be aware that there is a beginning and an end. I was about to retire a year ago, but I realized I can still do beautiful things, like I did earlier this season. And that lasts until the end of the year, I hope it remains as beautiful as that, that I can have fun. I wanted to retire at a good level, not dragging myself.
What goals have you set for yourself on your last lap?
My goal is to enjoy myself, knowing that there will be good and bad days. My main mission is to help Enrique Maas, who I think can do very well, as he has done on other occasions. If I could win a stage in my last Vuelta it would be a great culmination, but it’s not something that makes me obsess.
What are your 15 happiest and unpleasant memories about your participation in the Vuelta?
The best memories are all the podiums, the general win in 2009, the first stage win at Envalira in 2003, the win at La Pendera, the return after a penalty in 2012, those doubles, with Alberto Contador, Purito Rodriguez or Chris Froome. Of the worst memories I will highlight the 2006 edition, where Vinokourov scored and which I could have won. Last year’s decline as well.
Movistar Team

When you retire at the end of the season, will you be able to live without a bicycle?
It would be hard for me to live without a bicycle, but I have a great training group that I really enjoy. I do my work with them and have fun at the same time. When I retire I won’t have the incentive of a goal to compete, but I know I’ll have a great time, that I’ll continue to take care of myself, training. I like to think of cycling differently from now on, without any clear goals. Every March, enjoy the other way around. I will also be able to spend more time with my family, something I am really looking forward to.
Still connected to the Movistar team?
Yes, because I still have two years on my contract. I don’t know what role to play. I want to be an ambassador for the team, help as much as I can, mentor young people.
Do you see yourself working on a technical conspiracy?
No, because if I give up cycling, I have to spend more time at home. If as a broker he would have been 180 days, as a director he would have been 220.
Who has been the toughest opponent before you?
I had big disputes with Alberto Contador, it was always very difficult to compete against him. I also remember how difficult it was to compete with Bettini, although there was a huge age difference, I am young, we met several times in races, classics and world championships.

I had big disputes with Alberto Contador, it was always very hard to compete against him

I think Movistar would be very concerned about a win in the team that provides the necessary points to avoid being dropped from the World Tour category?
Worrying of course, I would be lying if I said no, but we have a good team to deal with this problem. We are the 18th classified team and we have been dropped from the 19th. Of course we are worried about this situation, but we have confidence in ourselves. From now until the end of the season we have several races that can be very useful to collect points. We have a problem and we have to deal with it in the best way possible.
You are the most versatile Spanish cyclist, with high performances in the Classics, World Championships, Grand Tours.
I don’t know if I am the most versatile or not. I consider myself a good cyclist. A rider who brought great success to Spain, who gave everything for Spain. I’ve also met other great cyclists, like Contador, Purito, Samuel, Shastri… all very nice and different. I define myself as a good runner.
Do you regret that you didn’t join the Classics more often to make up for the big round losses?
I don’t repent. Not very little. I’ve won five editions of Walloon Flecha, four Liege, two San Sebastian Classics. I have been on the podium in Amstel in Lombarda … I think what I have achieved is good.

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Reference from www.elmundo.es

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