He's coming home!!!! Alejandro Valverde comeback thread.

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What will Valverde's impact be the cycling world in 2012

  • Nuclear Holocoust

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But in 2016 riding all the Tour was a good preparation because they had an extra week and also fly to Brasil with a positive time difference is a lot different compared to fly to Japan with a negative time difference, if you take a flight on Monday morning you'll be in Tokyo when it's already the following morning there (and should be a direct flight otherwise could be even 15/18 hours of travel only) and that shorten also the recovery time, in addition to the jet lag and the weather, so I don't think the fact that Valverde is one of the few that is always good in San Sebastián after the Tour can be used as reference. Maybe he won't be a dead man walking like the ones that in normal years aren't even able to perform in San Sebastián coming out of the Tour but he'll be hampered compared to the ones that will leave the Tour early or will come from a different approach that enable them to fly to Japan earlier.

I'm not entirely sure it's the smartest of ideas, however, if he's the one that wants to do it, they aren't going to say no to him. In 2016 he also raced San Sebastian before going to the Olympics. If I'm reading correctly what is being said, is that he wants hard racing right before the Olympics which if he doesn't race the Tour he's not getting or doesn't think he's getting. IMO, racing 2 weeks to maybe into the 3rd week of the Tour is likely the best prep for the Olympics. However, I'm not sure you're going to find many who would be allowed to do that.
 
Many of the riders will come from the TDF to the Olympics so there is no drama - A rider will not give up a good result in the TDF because the Olympics are one week later.
The problem are not the riders coming out of the Tour that will be on the same boat but the ones that will decide to opt out of the Tour early or that will come from a different schedule and so will be rested and acclimatized for the race.
 
The best thing to do would be abandoning the Tour after Villard de Lans stage, or maybe even after Col de la Loze. But every day after that will decrease Valverde's chances at Tokyo. The main problem, however, will be that the first two weeks of the Tour suits Valverde like a glove and he may end up very high in the overall just at the time when he needs to abandon the race.
 
Reactions: Koronin
Alejandro said today that his goals for next year are the classics (referring to the Ardennes), the Tour, the Olympics, the Worlds and that la Vuelta is sacred on the calendar. So you can include la Vuelta as a goal as well.

As for retiring here is what he said and I'm posting in both Spanish and English in case there is a better translation:
El "Bala" asegura seguir con la ilusión de siempre, pero recalcó que si las sensaciones son las contrarias, no tendría problema en colgar la bicicleta. "Si veo que no voy bien termino y dejo la plaza a otro, pero eso aún no entra en mi cabeza. He vuelto a entrenar y las sensaciones son como en años anteriores".
(The "Bala" claims to continue with the illusion of always, but stressed that if the feelings are the opposite, he would have no problem hanging the bike. "If I see that I am not doing well, I finish and leave the square to another, but that still does not enter my head. I have returned to training and the sensations are as in previous years. )

The other interesting part of his comments are that he's looking forward to working with Enric Mas and hopes to teach him things as well as learn from him. He said he's really looking forward to teaching the new generation. (I do think when he does retire he'll become a coach on Movistar's staff, because coaching is something he seems to really enjoy doing.)

Here's the link for anyone who wants to read Spanish: https://www.ciclismoafondo.es/competicion/noticias-resultados-ciclismo/articulo/alejandro-valverde-si-pudiera-elegir-un-triunfo-sin-duda-seria-en-tokio?fbclid=IwAR0noybrR9NEFIhGEdYIXDNP8PKGoUrJJVf7zcb-0O5bJhEHnwlse_1Se0g
 
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Here's a new interview with Alejandro. He says his calendar will be Mallorca, Valencia, Murcia, UAE or Andalucia, Catalunia, the classics, maybe Ruta del Sur, Tour, Olympics, Vuelta, Worlds. He also says after that he is considering leaving the Tour early for the Olympics, but won't make that decision of when the best time to leave the Tour is until he's racing the Tour (or at least that is how I translated it). There's a lot of other things he talks about as well. Here's the link:
https://amp.laopiniondemurcia.es/deportes/2019/12/14/alejandro-valverde-ganar-oro-quintos/1075910.html?__twitter_impression=true&fbclid=IwAR0LlGyDGAUcG9ydnNytBqzVc9k9Fy0iL2EzAq57cbtEy_Pxze3_dph_uxQ
 
The idea of anyone prioritizing the Olympics, the most important event in minor sports with no traditions or following of their own, above the Tour de France gives me actual hives. Even Valverde who is obviously more open than most to that temptation as a potential Olympic winner who can’t win the Tour.
 
Olympics are great. Valverde aiming for Olympics, Vuelta and Worlds and ditching the final Tour week is an absolute no brainer for me.
I agree.

Also, it's probably only football, tennis, road cycling, boxing, ice hockey, basketball and golf of current Olympic sports where the Olympics aren't the absolute pinnacle, so saying that that only goes for small sports without any history of their own might be a little... Shall we say... arrogant on behalf of cycling?
 
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I agree.

Also, it's probably only football, tennis, road cycling, boxing, ice hockey, basketball and golf of current Olympic sports where the Olympics aren't the absolute pinnacle, so saying that that only goes for small sports without any history of their own might be a little... Shall we say... arrogant on behalf of cycling?
In tennis I feel it's regarded as the cherry on top of the cake, but not necessarily a hole in your resume if you didn't have it. And the only players I see talking down the Olympics are basically ones who completely blew it the last time they played or those who can't win anyway. I feel a lot of players are whining there's no prize money or points for the first 4 rounds, but for the winner it's absolutely big.

Besides it's great when you get see top singles players play doubles or even mixed doubles too.
 
I agree.

Also, it's probably only football, tennis, road cycling, boxing, ice hockey, basketball and golf of current Olympic sports where the Olympics aren't the absolute pinnacle, so saying that that only goes for small sports without any history of their own might be a little... Shall we say... arrogant on behalf of cycling?
Football, cricket, baseball, American football, basketball, road cycling, boxing, tennis, golf, rugby, etc are the world’s major spectator sports, the sports with real, substantial audiences of their own. And therefore, the Olympics is not the most important event in those sports or even part of their top tier of events if they participate at all. The Olympics is the main event in minor sports, which have to borrow an audience from a general festival of jingoism to register. The Olympics is the pinnacle of dinghy sailing and curling and clay pigeon shooting and bobsleighing and other sports nobody cares about outside of medal tables. I am quite happy to be “arrogant” enough to categorize Road cycling as a sport with a substantial audience of its own and traditions of its own and to resent people who want to treat it like horse dressage and other once every four years trivialities.

There are more than 1200 Olympic medals awarded every cycle. There are trackies and swimmers and gymnasts and rowers and sailers and other people nobody has heard of outside their own country wandering around with half a dozen of the things. Top level road cyclists have bigger fish to fry.

That’s said though, I think your Pais Vasco comparison was fair enough. If you can’t win a cobbled Monument it’s reasonable enough to target something you can win.
 
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Top level road cyclists have bigger fish to fry.
Not much bigger fish, if you're one-day specialist. And especially when a climbing course appears like this year, it's no surprise that some of the biggest names in road cycling makes it a big goal. I mean Valverde and Nibali are among the very best riders in this Century, and the fact that both of them makes Olympics the No.1 goal says a lot on this subject...
 
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Not much bigger fish, if you're one-day specialist. And especially when a climbing course appears like this year, it's no surprise that some of the biggest names in road cycling makes it a big goal. I mean Valverde and Nibali are among the very best riders in this Century, and the fact that both of them makes Olympics the No.1 goal says a lot on this subject...
It tells you that neither of them can win the Tour at this stage in their careers and both have come to accept that. It’s a reasonable mid season goal for riders who can win hilly one day races and who can’t win the much more important race it semi clashes with.
 
Tom Dumoulin wants to win the Olympic ITT.

Didn't know he was in the acceptance phase of his career.

In any case, the Olympics are a very recognizable event with a much bigger audience than just the hardcore fans who know the entire calendar.
 
I think it's pretty much on par.

Sorry, Zinoviev, you may feel that way but it's just not the reality for the riders.
I think “not far off winning the WC” is a fair assessment. Most years there are nine “tier one races”, ranging from the Tour de France way out in first place to Lombardia or MSR in ninth. In an Olympic year, there are ten, but the ORR is marginally the least of them, just behind the Monuments and WCRR. It’s clearly better than winning Amstel or Flèche or GW or Strade.

That said I don’t like the Olympic money/hype machine’s tendency to artificially drag its importance upwards. It’s a one day race that has only ever been won by one great one day racer. I don’t really want a Valverde or Gilbert to double that number.
 
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I think “not far off winning the WC” is a fair assessment. Most years there are nine “tier one races”, ranging from the Tour de France way out in first place to Lombardia or MSR in ninth. In an Olympic year, there are ten, but the ORR is marginally the least of them, just behind the Monuments and WCRR. It’s clearly better than winning Amstel or Flèche or GW or Strade.

That said I don’t like the Olympic money/hype machine’s tendency to artificially drag its importance upwards. It’s a one day race that has only ever been won by one great one day racer.
I honestly think an Olympic victory is regarded much higher than Lombardia, which nobody ever seems to target specifically.
 

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