Valverde: "I would like to be better, but I am 40 years old"

The Murcian has no triumphs in this atypical 2020 and is 14th in the Tour, far from the best in the mountain days and as Mas's squire.


How are you after the first week and days of the Massif Central?

Well, little by little I'm getting better in shape, I'm feeling pretty good. It seems not, but we wear out a lot at each stage. What I try is to be the highest to accompany Enric. Let's see how he feels first, and then me too. Of course I would like to walk better, there is no doubt. Every day I feel a little better, even though I am 40 years old. I am not a kid, sooner or later it is time not to perform at your 100% .

Do you consider it feasible to fight for a stage victory?

I hope so, we'll see. If one comes, of course they will be welcome. Even so, escapes are very difficult to control or get into. Favorable days come between the Grand Colombier and the Alps, so we will try to rush our chances. The team intends to compete and regain the good feeling.

(Movistar is the World Tour squad with the worst balance in this atypical coronavirus season: it only has one victory, by Marc Soler in the Challenge de Mallorca) .

Accustomed to fighting with the best, do you dislike falling to 14th overall?

No, far from it. I'm there when movements occur, I'm fine. Enric is further ahead (10th) and I don't have so much time lost either, so it is not a problem nor does it concern me, what interests us is that Mas finishes further ahead in the classification.

And would it not be preferable to get off the hook and give more minutes to have freedom and aspire to partial victories?

The objective is to finish the highest in the general classification with Enric and myself. If we can achieve a victory, it will be celebrated and we will welcome it with open arms, but we want to complete the best possible classification.

(By teams, Movistar is second, at 3:00 from Education First. Soler is 21st) .

Is it a little fought tour?

Each one is free to comment and criticize whatever they want. We are not going slowly. There was a day without leaks, certainly. But if it is not attacked, it is because it cannot. Self-sacrifice doesn't make sense. Even if you want to, the Roglic Jumbo will catch you, so you better be conservative and when you have good legs, accelerate. To this day, only Pogacar has the strength to break the Jumbo.

In 2020 it seems duller than usual and is already talking about retirement in 2021.

Psychologically I am fine, in a way I would love to walk better. I don't think about hanging up my bike now. If I have to withdraw when the time comes, I will withdraw. It does not worry me. I want to go to Tokyo in 2021, but if I'm not feeling well, I won't go. At the moment we dispute the Tour. This is the strangest race of my COVID career. We will try to give the maximum and get the best results.

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