"I'm going for 40 and I'm realistic, but I don't rule out either"

Alejandro Valverde (Murcia, 39 years old), the most veteran cyclist of the Vuelta and the one that seems the best Spanish trick for the general, talks with AS about the race.

You are one of the stars of the platoon who has always said that the Vuelta is one of the most special races, where it is most comfortable. Do the years go by and he still has the same illusion?

Man, and this year with the rainbow jersey and the number 1, which I am very grateful to the race for this gesture. I hope I can make people enjoy. It would be very nice to wear the red jersey or achieve a stage. (Alejandro Valverde is still one of the most requested cyclists in departures and goals, when he gets off the bus, he goes through the control of signatures ... Wherever he goes he is accompanied by applause and hundreds of requests for photos and autographs by fans. He attended AS relaxed, friendly and with good cheer in the team's hotel, Alicante Golf, the Movistar headquarters whenever you go through this area of the Levantine coast) .

Lower Carapaz before starting again put the focus and the Leader poster in Nairo and in you. If career circumstances required it, would you be fighting for the general?

Nairo is more leader than me and has already shown that he is very strong. This attention and demand are not new, as you can imagine, and I face them with peace of mind. Both from the point of view of the competition, as of the media, attending the press ... As for fighting to win this Tour ... I am realistic. I am 39 years old and I am almost 40 years old (he will turn them in April 2020), but I don't rule out either. I know there is the case of Horner who won with 42, but I also started running much earlier and I think I have accumulated more wear. Anything that doesn't go thinking about everyday life is going to be a mistake. Yes, I am trying to be ahead, at least in this boot. Thus, it has always been my way of running, of disputing the races. I've been a professional cyclist for 18 years and I've always been this competitive. Unless one day I have to disconnect for some reason, I am thrown away, or the strategy we have proposed in the team requires it, I will always fight for the best position. (The history of Valverde in the Tour is tremendous: he won the 2009 edition, his only title in a three-week race. He was second in 2012 and in 2006, third in 2014, 2013 and 2003, and has finished in the top-10 of the race ten times in total, including last year, fifth, with 38 years and having chances of winning until the last stages.In addition, he is the active cyclist with the most stage wins in the Spanish round with 12) .

Isn't this edition running by looking sideways at the defense of his world champion rainbow jersey? A great opportunity for me. Now Yorkshire's appointment is also hard, but I think that at the moment it seems to be more open to a greater number of runners and that makes it more difficult. Now I just want to do my best in the Tour, and I think that will also help me get to the World Cup in the best possible way.


Photos from as.com
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