Valverde takes solace from consistent 2013 season

Alejandro Valverde won just a handful of minor races in the 2013 season but was consistently good and finished on the podium at Il Lombardia, the World Championships, the Amstel Gold Race, Clasíca San Sebastian and the Vuelta a España. He also finished third in the World Tour ranking this season.

The 33-year old Movistar rider won two stages and the overall in the Ruta del Sol and the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana in Mallorca, both very early in the season. In the Tour de France he was hoping for a podium finish but lost almost ten minutes in the disasterous echelon stage to Saint Amand Monrond.

"I had a good year. It was very consistent and I finished on the podium in all the races I targeted. And I had options to win them all,"  the Spaniard told, reviewing his season.

"I feel better every year," Valverde said. "Every season I get older but I feel more mature and ride well."

Next season Valverde will target the Vuelta. "If I don't have any problems I am going to ride the Vuelta. I like riding there and always do well," he said.

The Tour de France is still up in the air for Valverde. His teammate Nairo Quintana  has openly been flirting with the Giro d'Italia instead of the Tour but no final decision on who will lead Movistar in July has been made.

"During the last team meeting in Pamplona we talked about it again," Valverde said. "It's still up in the air but I am moving more towards the Tour than towards the Giro."

The final decision will be made by Movistar team manager Eusebio Unzué who has to share his two team leaders across the three Grand Tours.

Valverde holds three bronze and two silver medals from the World Championships but has still to win the world title. In Florence this year he and his Spanish compatriot Joaquim Rodríguez were beaten by Valverde's teammate Rui Costa. In 2014 the World Championships take place in the Spanish town on Ponferrada but Valverde doesn't want the rainbow jersey to become an obsession.

"If I win it, that's fine but I am not obsessing anymore. I am the only rider with five World Championship medals. Of course I want the win the gold medal but without getting obsessed about it," he said.

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