By Antonio J. Salmerón
The news buzz surrounding Alejandro Valverde is not disrupting his training, which he undertook yesterday in the company of his Caisse d'Epargné-Illes Balears teammates and compatriots, Fran Perez, Luis Leon Sanchez, and Jose Joaquin Rojas.
Responding to rumours about joining T-Mobile,Valverde replied, "It is certain that T-Mobile has offered to bring along people in whom I have confidence, but not for this season." In fact, Leon Sanchez and Joaquin Rojas recently signed their respective contracts with Caisse d'epargné-Illes Balears for the next two seasons. In the case of Perez, a move would be easier since his contract ends in December of 2007. In addition, there are other riders of interest to Valverde on the Caisse d'Epargné-Illes Balears, such as Constantino Zaballa and Joaquin Rodriguez.
On the other hand, Eusebio Unzúe will be busy. He and Echavárri could look for a greater sponsorship commitment than that of Illes Balears or even of Caisse d'Epargné, although the latter is not so likely.
"I will be very respectful with my current squad, although I assume that a very important sponsorship through T-Mobile exists. For whom will I show a preference? I will listen to Unzúe and Echavárri. I know that they will go to special efforts regarding sponsorship. Furthermore, I have to say that they treat to me very well, and people who are close to me are here," Valverde explained to the Spanish daily news El Faro de Murcia Wednesday.
Valverde's comments could be understood as an intention of continuity with his current team. In this sense, the Spaniard rider could fulfill his effective contract with the Caisse d'Epargné-Illes Balears, and then negotiate for 2008, although Echavárri and Unzúe intend to continue the team.
Echavárri had previously commented about Valverde's possible departure to T-Mobile saying he could not stop his departure, but that Valverde would have to "assume all the responsibilities."
"I do not understand to what responsibilities he is referring. I do not have any," responded Valverde, slightly miffed.