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Valverde debuts rainbow jersey at Tre Valli Varesine

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Alejandro Valverde waves to the crowd on the podium

Alejandro Valverde waves to the crowd on the podium
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thumbs up from the new world champion

Thumbs up from the new world champion
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alejandro Valverde steps onto the podium

Alejandro Valverde steps onto the podium
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alejandro Valverde about to race in his new kit for the first time

Alejandro Valverde about to race in his new kit for the first time
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Valverde on the podium at the start of the Tre Valli Varesine

Valverde on the podium at the start of the Tre Valli Varesine
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alejandro Valverde waves to the crowd on the podium

Alejandro Valverde waves to the crowd on the podium
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alejandro Valverde heading for the start line in his new kit

Alejandro Valverde heading for the start line in his new kit
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Valverde poses for photos with local fans

Valverde poses for photos with local fans
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Valverde and the Movistar team on the podium

Valverde and the Movistar team on the podium
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has begun his first race as the world champion, pulling on his new rainbow jersey for the Tre Valli Varesine in Italy on Tuesday. 

The Spaniard, who won the world title in Innsbruck at the end of September, unveiled his new kit at a sponsor event in Madrid on Sunday but Tuesday is his first racing appearance in the rainbow bands.

"The truth is it's a very good feeling. It gives me pride to wear it, to be the world champion," Valverde said just before the start of the one-day race. 

"Today is a beautiful day, and I'm going to enjoy being on the bike as much as possible."

Valverde's jersey features the Movistar logo and name in the team's colours, positioned just above the rainbow bands, with two further blue 'M's on the shoulders and smaller secondary sponsor logos in black on the chest and arms. The 38-year-old wore arm warmers on a slightly chilly autumn morning, featuring further rainbow bands on the forearm. His shorts are black with rainbow trim, but there is no rainbow customisation on his bike or accessories. 

"It's been very busy, with lots of events, here, there and everywhere, and not much training," Valverde said of his 10 days as the new world champion. "I've just been enjoying all the tributes."

For that reason, he played down his chances of victory in the hilly 197km race, which acts as a prelude to Saturday's Il Lombardia - the final monument of the season and one of the few gaps in Valverde's palmares.

"No, today is not an objective for me," Valverde insisted. "Today is about enjoying the jersey."