By Antonio J. Salmerón
Alejandro Valverde finished in second position in the general classification of the Vuelta. The Spanish Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears leader could not overcome Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), "but I was close to the final triumph" and he emphasized the strength of the Kazakhstani winner "who was the best, a great rival. Vinokourov was the rightful winner, so I congratulate him."
On the development of the Vuelta, Valverde explained, "It was a very competitive race, and that is good for cycling."
Now, Valverde is already thinking of the World Championships: "I will return to training tomorrow, on Tuesday, at home in Murcia (Spain), and on Wednesday, I will travel to Salzburg." Without Óscar Freire, Valverde will lead the Spanish selection next Sunday 24th, where he is a favourite to win after already obtaining two silver medals.