Valverde extends Movistar contract

Alejandro Valverde has extended his contact with Movistar Team for a further two years, and will ride for the team until the end of the 2019 season. He already had a contract for the 2017 season.

The 36-year-old turned professional with Kelme in 2002 before moving to Movistar's earlier incarnation, Illes Balears - Caisse d'Epargne, in 2005. This season he finished all three Grand Tours, taking third in the Giro d'Italia, sixth in the Tour de France and 12th in the Vuelta a Espana.

The all rounder has won the Vuelta (2009) and the Fleche Wallonne on four separate occasions. He has also claimed Liege-Bastogne-Liege three times. He finished on the Tour de France podium for the first time in his career in 2015.

"Nicknamed 'El Imbatido' ('The Unbeaten One') or, simply and affectionately, 'Bala' ('Bullet'), Valverde means everything to Eusebio Unzué's squad, an everlasting, brilliant light in all races he takes part in. Arguably the best all-round, most consistent rider the national peloton has even known, and an unmissable reference in the WorldTour peloton for nearly a decade and a half, his palmarès (97 wins) is as eternal as his figure, rated in terms and numbers - 74 victories with the Abarca Sports structure, a record only beaten by Miguel Indurain - difficult to achieve for any other rider," Movistar said in a press release.

Valverde served a doping ban for his involvement in the Operacion Puerto case. He returned to the sport after his two-year ban in 2012.

Valverde's 2017 race programme has yet to be confirmed but he announced in September that he would not race all three Grand Tours in the same season again.

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