Alejandro Valverde confirms he will retire after 2022 season

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) during the 2021 Tour de France
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) during the 2021 Tour de France (Image credit: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

Alejandro Valverde has confirmed that he will “100 per cent” retire after the 2022 season, putting an end to a 21-year career at the age of 42. 

The Movistar rider has often put back the date of retirement in recent years but he told Spanish radio show Sports Radiogaceta that his time has come.  

“2022 is going to be my last year. I say that with total conviction, 100 per cent,” Valverde said, speaking from the Movistar get-together in northern Spain.

“Even though my level is good at 42, it makes no sense to extend longer after 21 years in the business. What more do I want? My time has come.”

Valverde has raced since 2002 and returned from a ban for his involvement in Operacion Puerto in 2012 to continue a successful career that includes the world road race title in 2018. He won the 2009 Vuelta a España and has won La Flèche Wallonne five times and Liège-Bastogne-Liège four times.

Valverde crashed out of the 2021 Vuelta a España, fracturing his collarbone but returned to racing within a few weeks to win a stage at the Giro di Sicilia and finish fifth at Il Lombardia.

However, he is no longer competitive in Grand Tours, with Enric Mas leading Movistar in 2022. Valverde will not return to the Tour de France in his final season and plans to sign off at the 2022 Vuelta a Espana before working with Movistar in another role.

“I want to enjoy my last season as a pro. I don’t have my season sketched out yet, but a start at the Tour de France is already excluded,” he said.

“I hope to race the Vuelta next year, and we will study the Giro route too. And then there’s the classics and all the races on the Spanish calendar.”

"When I retire I have a contract for two more years in the Movistar team. I will try to help the team as much as I can, especially by coaching young riders, which is something I like a lot."

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