Alejandro Valverde is on his way to leaving behind an exceptional legacy after his win at the Trofeo Pollença-Port d’Andratx. This will be his last cycling season before his retirement, and he plans to go all out despite his age, he is also amazed by his performance. Although this will be his last performance in the professional peloton, Valverde seems very confident about himself.
It seems almost like yesterday when he properly turned into a professional, this was almost two decades ago in 2002, everything started in the Kelme season. After that, due to his amazing performance and skills, Valverde has won a race almost every year, although we will not be including 2011 when he was banned due to doping to enhance his performance and 2020, it seems that now he has returned for the better and will be living up to his glorious days.
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Victories don’t come easy, they take a lot of struggle, motivation, and discipline. Valverde knows this, as he added the 131st win to his professional career after Trofeo Pollença-Port d’Andratx, but this is not all, he has his aim on Ardennes Classics, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta an España.
After the race, Valverde said,
More than age, for me the key thing is that it’s already 20 years for me at the highest level in the pro peloton.
It’s something so difficult to achieve, both physically and especially from the psychological standpoint, I’m really surprised to continue doing well. When I was younger, I stated that I thought I wouldn’t be in the peloton when I reached 34 – now I’m turning 42 in April, and I’m still racing, and winning.
Valverde will be personally dedicating his victories to two important people, and he is also thankful for all the sponsors. As you might have guessed, the first one is Egan Bernal and the other one is Juan Carlos Unzué.
To me, every race will be a tribute already. I’m really thankful to the organizers for the recognition they gave me this morning at the start – I hope I was able to pay them back and thank them enough with this win. It’s the best way to bid farewell to this race, with two podiums, one victory – and now I’m already thinking about Valencia, the next one!
I want to dedicate this victory to two really important men. The first one is Egan Bernal. All of my support goes out to him, hoping that his recovery goes well and we can see him doing fine as soon as possible
And then, to Juan Carlos Unzué (Team Movistar Manager’s Brother). His example of strength, optimism, fighting spirit over the last few months has been invaluable, to everyone in this team particularly. A big hug goes to both, hoping that we can see each other soon.
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They say nothing can be achieved without proper teamwork and that is the truth when it comes to Movistar Team. The climb in Andratx was hard, but Valverde’s win was a total team effort, that is how we conquered the hilly 170-km race. Enric Mas and Marc Soler toned down the peloton so that Valverde could win and that is exactly what happened.
The whole team was excellent today. We tried to keep the race always as much under control as possible, and the team worked perfectly well. We had to tackle this Andratx climb at a strong pace to try and drop those faster legs still into the group.
We succeeded at distancing Matthews, the strongest sprinter in the group, but I saw him trying to come back with 250, 300 meters to go, and that’s where I launched my sprint before he bridged back – and I could manage to take it.
Alejandro Valverde is leaving behind a legacy that will be very hard to follow, his level of dedication to the profession and discipline will not easily be replaced. The Spaniard has a very exciting season in front of him and we cannot wait to see him in action this last time.
Featured Image Via Instagram/alejandvalverde