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"I do not know if it's the right one for me. It has its toughness, but it will be complicated. It is true that the route is not the most suitable for me."

Photo: Sirotti




25.09.2015 @ 19:04 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alejandro Valverde faces the Richmond World Championships as the leader of the Spanish team and is in search of his seventh medal after two silvers and four bronzes. However, his fears have been confirmed and he has admitted that the course is "not the best" for his characteristics


In July, the rider achieved one of his big goals in Paris; in September, he can achieve the other. "I've already got the podium of the Tour , now I need to win the Worlds," he told Biciclismo in Richmond.


Valverde and his teammates have inspected the 16.2 kilometer circuit in that they will have to do 16 times. He doesn't like it too much. "I do not know if it's the right one for me. It has its toughness, but it will be complicated. It is true that the route is not the most suitable for me. It is not the best for me. Being attentive is the key and we will give everything. We must see if the circuit can split the group or not. The less riders in the front group, the better for me," he said. In that case, he points to rivals lik "Gerrans, Van Avermaet, Gilbert, Nibali, Yates, Rui Costa ...".


"If the group doesn't split, the fastest of the team is Lobato, but we will not ask too much from because it is his first World Championships. As the race unfolds, we will see. If he is well, he is faster, but after 260 kilometers everything changes," he explained.


One ingredient to keep in mind is the rain that has been forecasted and can change the scenario completely. "The rain is not good because the risks are higher and this circuit has cobbles, turns and is not clean at all. It an be a totally different rac if it rains. Then I do think it will be a tough Worlds," he warned.


Valvede has reached Richmond with 84 days of competition in his legs after doing the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. "The season has been very hard. After the Vuelta, I trained very lightly, and then there was the travel, the adjustment to the time difference. We've done five hours and I have noticed that I feel better. I think I've recovered quite well fromthe Vuelta," he said. "Clearly, seeing the circuit I would have liked some more teammate, but the one who decides that is [national coach Miguel] Mínguez. It is not in my hands."


Of his silver medals from Hamilton in 2003 and Madrid in 2005 and bronze medals in Salzburg in 2006, Valkenburg in 2012, Florence in 2013 and Ponferrada in 2014, Valverde has "the best memories" of the first. "To get a medal at my first Worlds, being second behind Astarloa, was a dream like if I had won the gold," he said.


Finally, he said his relationship with Joaquim Rodriguez is perfect, despite the frustration of the Katusha rider that Valverde sprinted and took the points jersey in the final stage of the Vuelta. "The press often makes more hype than is necessary. He made ​​inappropriate statements but when you have a heart rate of 190 you  say things that are not right. We have already spoken and he was in full agreement. The relationship is good. Now we are together and it's something else."



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