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“For me that will be brand new. I’m going to have tough rivals there. I won’t know the race, but I will aim for as good a result as possible and to be up there with the best, even if that’s going to be very complicat...

Photo: Movistar Team




05.03.2016 @ 12:57 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Alejandro Valverde’s Giro preparation is certainly a strange one. The 2016 Ruta del Sol winner will not use stage races, but Classics to prepare for his maiden Corsa Rosa.


The veteran Spaniard begins with Strade Bianche today before he does his second stage race of the year at Tirreno-Adriatico. Then it’s off to Milan-Sanremo before he tackles the cobbles of Flanders: Dwars door Vlaanderen and E3 before another first appearance ever at De Ronde. Then he is back to his favoured Ardennes terrain for the trio of races there, where he will race with number one on his back in both Fleche and Liege.


While his participation in Strade is not unusual, after placing third in both the 2014 and 2015 races, the cobbled experience is not normal for him, having only raced those events to prepare for the Tour de France’s cobbled stages.


“I’m in good form and Strade Bianche is a race I really like. I like that kind of racing on dirt roads, the only bad news is that they say it’s going to rain and the earth is going to turn to mud! It’ll be a really hard race,” Valverde told Cyclingnews ahead of today’s race.


Speaking about Flanders, Valverde knows it will be very hard, but he is not there for a joke and is going to go for the best result possible.


“For me that will be brand new. I’m going to have very tough rivals there. I won’t know the race, but I will aim for as good a result as possible and to be up there with the best when it matters, even if I have to say that’s going to be very complicated.”


Valverde even said he would have liked to race Flanders earlier in his career, but his team, who insisted he didn’t risk the Ardennes, always stopped the 35 year old. This year, he says he isn’t sure if he will be in good enough shape to win the Ardennes races, as his first peak is the Giro, rather than the Ardennes followed by the Tour like usual.


“The Amstel-Flèche-Liège trio of races is going to be different for me this year,” Valverde told Cyclingnews. “Rather than being in top shape I don’t know if I’ll be there at 100 percent, because I’ve got the Giro d’Italia in May. You’ve got to be so strong to win those races. I think while I’ll be good, I don’t know if I’ll be good enough to win them.”




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