Valverde out of hospital after Saturday’s hit and run

SCALEA, ITALY - MAY 12: Alejandro Valverde Belmonte of Spain and Movistar Team competes during the 105th Giro d'Italia 2022, Stage 6 a 192km stage from Palmi to Scalea / #Giro / #WorldTour / on May 12, 2022 in Scalea, Italy. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) at the Giro d'Italia 2022 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who was hit by the driver of a car while on a ride on Saturday morning in the southeast of Spain, is already out of hospital and should be able to contemplate a return to training this week, according to Spanish newspaper Marca.

An earlier Movistar statement confirmed Valverde had no fractures or serious injuries and would remain under observation at the Virgen de la Arrixaca hospital for 24 hours. The 42-year-old also confirmed on Instagram that “luckily everything has been a scare and I’m fine”.

Marca reported on Sunday that Valverde was “very dizzy” and on the ground after the incident, with his bike destroyed, but was now recovering at home. The newspaper added that he would return to training in just a few days.

The driver of the vehicle, a 69-year-old man, initially fled the scene but later turned himself in at a police station, with authorities placing him under arrest. Antonio Sánchez, Valverde's manager told Marca that the driver had been identified thanks to another motorist taking note of the licence plate.

The report said eyewitnesses saw the driver stopping short in response to remonstrations from Valverde's group of cyclists after the vehicle passed at high speed without leaving the required metre-and-a-half distance. The car then backed up, running into the cyclists.

Valverde is planning to retire from professional cycling this year, but has performed strongly in his farewell campaign. He placed second at both Strade Bianche and La Flèche Wallonne and then raced the Giro d’Italia. He came fourth overall at Route d'Occitanie after lining up to help the team chase UCI ranking points in a bid to avoid WorldTour relegation.

Valverde’s last Grand Tour is set to be the Vuelta a España, which starts on August 19. He won the overall title in 2009 and he has taken 12 stage victories across his 15 starts. His last race as a professional is expected to be Il Lombardia on October 8.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1