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Valverde aims for Vuelta a Espana "without pressure"

By:
Alasdair Fotheringham
Published:
July 22, 2013, 13:06,
Updated:
July 29, 2013, 17:21
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Race:
Tour de France
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

  • Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
  • Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) would have a day to forget in stage 13 at the Tour de France
  • Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) leans into a corner in Paris

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Eighth in Paris, no specific targets in September

After finishing eighth in the Tour de France, Spain's Alejandro Valverde has two races  that are definitely on his calendar for now: the Clásica San Sebastian and the Vuelta a España. But although he has won both in the past, the Movistar rider says he will not be doing either "with any kind of pressure to produce results."

"I will do them both like I did them in 2012" - where he took 26th in San Sebastian and second overall in the Vuelta - "simply going in there in good condition, but to see what I can do," Valverde told Cyclingnews as he waited outside the team hotel in Paris for for a taxi to take him to the airport.

"With what I've achieved so far this season, and what I've helped the team do in the Tour de France, I think I have done everything that has been asked of me. Now it's just going to be a case of seeing what more I can get, but without pressure."

"The Colombians [Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao - Sky], Joaquim [Rodriguez - Katusha] and Nibali (Astana) will be the main rivals. We'll have to see if [defending champion] Alberto [Contador - Saxo-Tinkoff] decides to come too."

Valverde even tried briefly to get in a breakaway on the Champs Elysées on Sunday, "although we pretty much knew it was mission impossible. It was a nice way to round off the race."

"In any case, we've really had a brilliant Tour, with Nairo [Quintana], the stage wins and so on. If I hadn't had that puncture on the day of the cross-winds, it might have been two of us on the final podium, but that's the way things work out at times in cycling."

The Vuelta a España, cycling's third grand tour, starts on August 24th in Galicia, with a 27 kilometre team time trial. The equivalent event was won by Movistar last year, with Alejandro Valverde moving briefly into the lead three stages later. Will iit be the same this time round?

Aristotelis Papageorgiou More than 1 year ago
It was great to see a champion (Valverde) helping a much younger rider to move up the GC. After the team changed their captain, Valverde played the role of a super-domestique perfectly.
Cance > TheRest More than 1 year ago
yes, Valverde has done it before too - if it wasn't for him, Rui Costa might not have won the Tour de Suisse last year
Ryo Hazuki More than 1 year ago
helping where exactly? he rode pretty much solely for his own pathetic top ten placing.
Zaharia Dragoş More than 1 year ago
Vamos Alejandro! Victory in Vuelta 2013!
davidreid1 More than 1 year ago
It would have been interesting to see how high Valverde could have placed if he had not lost time on Stage 13. Although perhaps it was a blessing in disguise for Movistar as it forced them to focus their efforts on supporting Quintana.
Cheche San Miguel More than 1 year ago
They should have not sacrificed the GC placing of Costa. The five or six team members would have been enough to assist Valverde in the cross-wind pursuit.
Downtown Rider More than 1 year ago
worked out for the best in the end with those two stage wins
Animal More than 1 year ago
He'll probably win it.
HeadPack More than 1 year ago
Maybe, if Nibali pedals backwards.
Cheche San Miguel More than 1 year ago
Nibali will not perform well in the Vuelta this year because of "honeymoon bug". Married October last year and his honeymoon was interrupted by his Giro preparation. Uran will get his revenge this time.
mdeviney More than 1 year ago
Source? Lolz. I expect the Vuelta to again be the most exciting grand tour this year, as it has been for the last three or more years. The nature of the climbs will probably keep Nibali from dominating like he did in the Giro, and no other outstanding favorite is showing up. Contador, Valverde, and Rodriguez may be a bit tired, Uran and Henao don't have their consistency and experience, and with no teams sending their A-squad to the Vuelta (ever), moves are less likely to get shut down.