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“I will be quite complicated to be number one (in the WorldTour) this year. That’s not the idea with this schedule change."

Photo: Movistar Team




27.01.2016 @ 14:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alejandro Valverde (1980 Movistar Team) will head into unknown territory in 2016 when he will tackle the cobbles of Flanders and discover the Giro d'Italia for the first time. The Olympic Games remain his main goal and he will "help" Nairo Quintana to win the Tour de France. And he does not rule the Vuelta a Espana out.


The Spanish rider faces the new season with "tranquility, desire, illusion and good health.” It will be a different 2016 for him as he will be more focused on the classics in the first half, with the cobbles being the big novelty, and the Giro, the Tour and the challenge of the Olympics later. "It will be a different season, with a totally different calendar than I normally do. We'll see what happens. In May I usually rest. This year I will go to the Giro and see if the legs respond like I want," he told Biciciclismo  after the official presentation. “I will be quite complicated to be number one (in the WorldTour) this year. That’s not the idea with this schedule change," he added.


The Spaniard, who turns 36 in April, will start his season in Mallorca but is already thinking about the maglia rosa."I'm not bad, I'm fine. The idea is to go slowly to go to the Giro in the best possible condition. I go to the Giro to try to get as much as much as possible, to try to make the podium, or why not win it. We know it's difficult because the opponents are very strong and very good. We chose to do the Giro because I will be 36 years old but I have a very good physical condition so why not? I was excited – the same goes for the team – to change things a bit. It's a race that I like and the route is not bad for me," he explained.


In July he will not skip the Tour de France, after reaching the podium in 2015, and will be there to "help Nairo: we are looking forward to it. We know that he is fine and he will do a great Tour and why not win it? One of the main goals is to win the Tour, as every year. We are always close.”


Classics, Giro, Tour, Olympics ... Valverde does not believe the season will be too "because I normally do the Tour and Vuelta, and this year it is the Giro and the Tour and then the novelty is the Olympics." Olympic gold is his great goal at his fourth Olympics. "The course is very good, but it is a one-day race, there are five riders per team and we must be extremely lucky," he said.


He does not rule out the possibility of also doing the Vuelta a Espana. "We'll see how I feel. As I said: I fyou can do the Vuelta, it is better to ride in your own country and do what you can instead of doing another calendar," he said.


The cobblestones and his commitment to debut in De Ronde is unknown territory for him. "I know little about it. I rode in Flanders two years ago when the Tour had cobbles. Sure, it's totally different," he said. "We will go there and see what we do. Try to win? Sure, but my feet are on the ground and I know it is very complicated. I think I will go a little easier in the classics (Ardennes) than in other years," he said.


Finally, he hopes for a good recovery for after the crash last Friday at the Tour de San Luis. "From here I give all my support and all my strength so that he can recover as best as possible,” he concluded.



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