By Antonio J. Salmerón
After the announcement that Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador would ride the Vuelta a Castilla y León later this month, Alejandro Valverde has thrown his name into the hat as a possible starter. Valverde's participation would add to the star quality of the field and create even more interest in a race that was almost defunct just three years ago.
According to Caisse d'Epargne manager Eusebio Unzúe, "the final decision will be made having taken into account different aspects; what we determine is the most adequate balance for Valverde."
Unzúe has to choose between the aforementioned Vuelta a Castilla y León, GP Cholet-Pays de Loire (March 22) or the Criterium International (March 28 to 29). In Castilla y León, Valverde will have the opportunity to pit himself against Contador, Armstrong and Carlos Sastre. "This race has an interesting test for Valverde: a 30km time trial stage," added Unzúe.
Unzúe did confirm the rest of Valverde's pre-Tour de France programme, which includes GP Miguel Indurain (April 4), Klasika Primavera-Amorebieta (April 12), Paris-Camembert (April 14), Amstel Gold (April 19), Flèche Wallonne (April 22), Liège-Bastogne-Liège (April 26), Volta Catalunya (May 18-24) and Dauphiné Liberé (June 7-14).