World champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) stood on stage waving to the crowds at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana team presentation on Tuesday. Organisers of the race, set to take place from February 6-10, welcomed both international and local teams, including Burgos-BH, who are back in action after a team suspension.
Valverde will line up as the defending champion, having won last year's edition ahead of Astana teammates Luis Leon Sanchez and Jakob Fuglsang. Valverde has already started his season at the Challenge Mallorca, where he finished fourth at Trofeo Ses Salines-Felanitx, 10th at Trofeo Andratx-Lloseta and third at Trofeo de Tramuntana: Soller-Deia.
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana will mark the first race of the season for Thomas, who has spent time training in California. He last raced at the 2018 Tour of Britain. The organisers also welcomed on stage Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team), Adam Yates, Esteban Chaves and European champion Matteo Trentin (all from Mitchelton-Scott), and 2018 runner-up Sanchez with his Astana team. Bahrain-Merida will field Dylan Teuns and Matej Mohoric, while UAE Team Emirates fields Dan Martin and Alexander Kristoff.