Valverde gunning for Worlds despite German objections

Valverde in 2006

Valverde in 2006 (Image credit: Sirotti)

Just days after the World Championships committee president Susanne Eisenmann said that he is not welcome at the Stuttgart event, Spaniard Alejandro Valverde has insisted that he is targeting the World Championships and fully intends to race as long as he is selected by his national federation. Eisenmann expressed concerns over Valverde's alleged involvement in the Operación Puerto doping scandal, allegations which he has been fighting vigorously all year.

Seeking to improve on his third place finish of last year's World Road Championships, Valverde told AS, "I do not have anything to hide. I am clean and I am getting tired of saying it." He wasn't impressed with the attitude of the Germans against his compatriot Alberto Contador, who faced harsh criticism and exclusion from the Vattenfall Classics in Hamburg over similar allegations. "The Germans go against everybody, even against themselves. Days ago they told Contador he could not race in Hamburg. Now they attack me."

The race organiser admitted that they could not legally exclude Valverde. "It is evident that they cannot prevent me from going. If I am selected, I will go to Germany with a strong mind and all the desire in the world to win the championship. That is my aim and I am working for it."

Valverde skipped the Vuelta a España in favour of resting up from his efforts in the Tour de France to prepare for the Worlds. "We changed the calendar," he admitted. "I am racing in Burgos but still holding onto the good form after taking sixth in the Tour. When I finish in Burgos, I only have the GP Plouay in France (September 2nd) and then I will prepare for the Worlds. The rumours and the news that come from [Germany] are not going break my focus."

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