Alejandro Valverde has agreed to race on with the Movistar team until the end of 2021, when he is expected to finally retire and take up an ambassador and development role for at least three years with the Spanish WorldTour team.
Valverde and Movistar confirmed the contract news in Murcia as Valverde prepared to ride Sunday’s Spanish national road race championships.
He was forced to miss this year’s Giro d’Italia after crashing before this year’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège and suffering a bone edema in his sacrum. But after winning the recent La Route d’Occitanie, Valverde confirmed he will ride the Tour de France alongside Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa, with the Vuelta a Espana also part of his 2019 schedule.
Valverde turned 39 in April and plans to target the road race event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics before his swansong season.
“I’m so happy with this extension. Everyone knows the Movistar Team is home to me. I’ve always felt really loved and respected here, and I’m so happy to be able to stay with the team for the next two years,” Valverde said making the announcement alongside Movistar team manager Eusebio Unzue.
“It gives me the calmness and confidence I need to keep working hard and enjoying bike racing. I will fight for new victories, as many as we can, and also help our team-mates to achieve big success wherever possible in the future.”
Valverde turned profession in 2002 and has gone on to be one of the successful Spanish riders of his generation. He has won 125 races, including Liège-Bastogne-Liège four times, La Flèche Wallonne five times and the 2009 Vuelta a Espana. He served a two-year doping ban in 2010 and 2011 for his links to the Operación Puerto blood doping scandal, returning to racing in 2012 with Movistar.
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