Alejandro Valverde out of Giro d'Italia

Road race world champion still recovering from training crash

The Movistar team have confirmed that Alejandro Valverde will not be able to take in the Giro d’Italia after failing to recover from a bone edema in his sacrum.

The world champion crashed last Thursday while training in Belgium for Liège-Bastogne-Liège and failed to finish the final Classic of the spring, sparking concerns about his presence at the Giro d’Italia.

Movistar said Valverde will now make a careful recovery before working on his form “to get back to his best form in the upcoming weeks and start building up for the second half of his 2019 season”.

Valverde commented on the decision on social media.

“It is a shame not to finally go to a great race like the Giro but | have to listen to my body and recover 100 per cent to face the rest of the year in the best possible way. Good luck to my Movistar teammates in Italy,” Valverde wrote.

Movistar's Giro d’Italia roster also includes Mikel Landa, who finished third overall in 2015, and Richard Carapaz, who took fourth overall in 2018, as well as the white jersey of best young rider. Nairo Quintana is slated to lead the team at the Tour de France.

Valverde has had a relatively subdued spring in the rainbow jersey of world champion, with just one victory to his name to date, a stage of the UAE Tour in February. He caught the eye with 8th place in his Tour of Flanders debut, but endured a trying Ardennes campaign.

After placing an anonymous 66th at Amstel Gold Race, he could only manage 11th at Flèche Wallonne. It was his worst placing on the Mur de Huy since 2012, his first season back in the peloton following his two-year suspension for blood doping.

Valverde revealed later that he had swallowed a bee during Flèche Wallonne and he endured further misfortune when he crashed in training the following day. He began Liège-Bastogne-Liège aiming to equal Eddy Merckx's record of five victories at La Doyenne, but he abandoned the race with 100km to go.

After focusing on the Tour de France in each of the past two seasons, Valverde is due to return to the Giro d'Italia this year, though his participation is now shrouded in uncertainty. The Spaniard placed third overall on his first and only Giro appearance in 2016.

Movistar's Giro roster also includes Mikel Landa, who finished third overall in 2015, and Richard Carapaz, who took 4th overall in 2018 as well as the white jersey of best young rider. Nairo Quintana is slated to lead the team at the Tour de France.
 

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