Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is still yet to put pen to paper for his new contract with Movistar, with money proving to be one of the sticking points. Valverde would like to stay with the team, but his agent says that they will consider other options.
“There has not been an agreement nor has anything been signed, and yes there are different positions,” Valverde’s agent Antonio Sánchez Sabater told Biciciclismo.
“Alejandro wants to continue to be valued by the team. The affection on both sides is mutual. I think that it would take something bad for them not to reach an agreement.”
Valverde has had his best year yet since returning to cycling nearly three years ago. The 34-year-old has taken victories at Roma Maxima, Flèche Wallonne and Clásica San Sebastián. He finished second to Simon Gerrans at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and had his best finish at the Tour de France with fourth place. Sánchez Sabater says that they are looking for a contract that reflects that.
“In spite of what has been said, he had his best finish at the Tour de France, he won races and you can’t forget that he is number one in the WorldTour. We only want that value, nothing more.”
Valverde has been part of the team in some way or another since 2005, when the team was known as Illes Balears-Banesto. He was forced to leave in 2010, to complete a two-year suspension that was handed to him for his part in Operación Puerto. However, when his two years were up, the former Vuelta a España winner re-signed with them for the 2012 season. Valverde has always denied doing anything wrong and is a character that polarises opinion.
Nairo Quintana’s growth as a rider has given the team another option for Grand Tours, but Valverde continues to be an integral part of the team. Sánchez Sabater hopes that they come to an agreement soon but they haven’t completely disregarded a move away from the team. “Ideally, it would be before the Vuelta, but it is complicated, with the dates that they are, during and after is also limited,” he explains.
“We cannot wait more because he could get another chance that would be hard to pass on. At the moment, he wants to continue, 100 per cent, but if it takes more time then we open the door and we will evaluate the other options… We have rejected some of the proposals, but they remain active.”