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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
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Alejandro Valverde visited his Caisse d'Epargne team-mates at the Vuelta a España where he discussed...
Alejandro Valverde visited his Caisse d'Epargne team-mates at the Vuelta a España where he discussed current events and his preparations for the Vuelta. Despite not racing, Valverde said he watches the Vuelta every day on TV. "I like to see all my friends of the bunch and to encourage my team-mates of Caisse dEpargne behind the screen.
"We are seeing a beautiful race," said Valverde. "Denis Menchov is without any doubt the strongest man in the race, but he will have to reckon with a great adversary in the person of Vladimir Efimkin, who realized something great in the stage of Lagos de Covadonga, and which since then keeps on defending oneself very well. He is now the second overall and I believe that the podium is no longer just a dream for him."
When he's not watching his national tour, Valverde is training. "Now, I am preparing my third objective, which is the World Championship. I train between four and five hours every day."
The Spanish rider said he is happy with his season so far. "t is true that I did not win any classic, but I finished the second of the Flèche Wallonne and the second of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which proves that I was present and in condition. One cannot win every year. Then, and for the first time, I finished the Tour de France, which was to some extent my big objective of this season. I acquired the experience which will be useful to me in the future and the fact of having arrived in Paris in my third participation is something extremely important for me. What I learned this year will be very useful in the next editions."
Valverde said he is not distracted by recent events with the UCI as he prepares for worlds. "In reality, their position surprises me and I do not want nor should say something about the subject," he said. "To know that I am supported by the Spanish public as well as by the sporting authorities like the Higher Council of Sports, the Spanish Cycling Federation, and also by my team and the riders of the bunch, makes so that I am grateful for this show of support, and that reinforces my hope and my interest to give the best of myself on the occasion of Worlds."