Alejandro Valverde (Illes Balears), who achieved third place at the Vuelta a España last year, will probably miss the event in 2005. According to Spanish and French media reports, Valverde is still experiencing pain in his knee, which had caused him to abandon the Tour de France in July, three days after his stage victory in Courchevel.
Since then, the 25 year-old Spaniard hasn't been able to race nor train properly. During the reconnaissance of Vuelta mountain stages, the Illes Balears rider couldn't exceed a certain level of effort for the ongoing knee pain. Valverde has been officially confirmed to miss the Clasica San Sebastian, and if he will not be able to line-up at the Tour of Spain, his participation at the World Championships in Madrid might also be compromised.