Valverde turns 39 in the Ardennes dressed as a rainbow

The Murcian, brand new world champion, turns 39 in a season in which he accumulates a win (in the UAE Tour) so far.

Alejandro Valverde turns 39 and does it dressed in a way he always dreamed: with the rainbow jersey reserved only for the world champions in force. The Murcian touched the sky in Innsbruck on September 30. Until then, he had added six World Cup medals, but never the precious gold that he achieved fifteen years after achieving his first metal in this race (it was silver in 2003). Since then, it is true that until now Valverde is not at the level of previous years, but time passes and as he said after his triumph in Austria, "now it's time to enjoy" .

Other great cyclists in Spanish history, such as Alberto Contador and Miguel Indurain, retired with 34 and 32 years respectively. Valverde, with 39, continues among the favorites in each race, being one of the most watched of the peloton. In theory, it will reach at least Tokyo 2020 ... and may extend its goodbye one more season. Total. has scored 123 career victories since debuting with the Kelme in 2002. The last one, and the only one after the World Cup, was on February 26 in the third stage of the UAE Tour (United Arab Emirates) after a great comeback.

Among its great domains, Valverde will always have a special affection for the Ardennes, con five victories in the Wallonne Flecha (2006, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017) and four in the Liège-Bastoña-Liège (2006, 2008, 2015 and 2017). Now, the Ardennes begin to have new owner, Julian Alaphilippe, who at his 26 years yesterday achieved his second victory in the wall of Huy ... Among his triumphs, Valverde has a three-week race: the Vuelta a España 2009, which took after an intense duel with Samuel Sánchez. After, a sanction between 2010 and 2012 left him out of competition, and returned to the big.

He returned as he left, winning and dominating. In 2015, another great moment of his career came and one of the most sought after: podium in the Tour de France, where he finished third, same position he got in the overall of the Tour of Italy a year later, in his First participation until this year, since in May it will be for the second time in the Corsa Rosa. He has won stages in the big three: eleven in the Vuelta, four in the Tour and one in the Giro. This Sunday will return to compete in Liège, closing the triptych of the Ardennes, where he will fight for his fifth win. It is obvious that his performance will be dwindling, but his record will leave him in history in a short list among the best cyclists in history in the peloton and especially in Spain, and filling your gap will be a very complicated task ... not to mention impossible.

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