Alejandro Valverde has called a close to his 2009 season. The winner of this year's Vuelta a España said he will skip the final races of the season in order to rest prior to a resumption of training for the 2010 season.
"After I won the Vuelta, I went directly to the World Championships in Mendrisio without any transition," said Valverde on Saturday. "Now I need to rest a little bit, physically and mentally, before I think about next season and start training again."
Valverde will race in a series of end-of-season criteriums, however he has, at his own request, been left out of the Caisse d'Epargne squad for Paris-Bourges and Paris-Tours. The 29-year-old's decision means that his ninth place in last week's World Championship road race was the last major race of 2009.
While he missed a medal at the Mendrisio Worlds, Valverde has enjoyed the most successful season of his eight year career. His first Grand Tour win in last month's Vuelta was preceded by overall victories at the Vuelta a Burgos, Dauphiné Libéré and Volta a Catalunya.
Though successful, Valverde's season has not been without controversy. In May, he was handed a two year ban from racing in Italy after he was linked by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) with the 2006 Operación Puerto blood doping investigation.
The ban saw him miss this year's Tour de France due to that race's passage through Italy on stage 17. Valverde is currently awaiting a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that could see the International Cycling Union (UCI) extend the Italian ban to rule him out of all competition for up to two years.
The CAS has not yet announced a date for a ruling on Valverde to take place.
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