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

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

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So, today it's Wiggins' 40th birthday, three days younger than Alejandro.

A guy who had his best years rather late in his career, yet it seems like forever ago that he was on the scene.

It really speaks volumes about Valverde's longevity.
Wiggins was pursuit World Champion at 23, Olympic Champion at 24 and at 26/28 was absolutely dominant on the track, it's only his focus switching toward road racing that came rather late in his career.
 
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There might be cycling fans out there who literally are younger than Valverde's career!
That would be a given. We're getting close to having riders enter pro teams and WT teams that are younger than Valverde's career. He has teammates who have said they don't know the pro peloton without him in it.

I didn't realize that Wiggins is the same age as Alejandro. Yes he had a nice career, more on track than road.
 
Wiggins was pursuit World Champion at 23, Olympic Champion at 24 and at 26/28 was absolutely dominant on the track, it's only his focus switching toward road racing that came rather late in his career.
That's true enough. Back when Valverde was podiuming Vueltas and WCRRs.

I was more alluding to his road career, but it's evident that Wiggins had another focus back then.
 
Movistar has been doing interviews through their instagram page with their own riders. Today they talked to Alejandro. Alejandro has admitted that not only is he considering extending his career by another year. In the interview from what I could tell it sounds like when Spain lifted some restrictions to allow kids outside that he took Pablo out for a bike ride. To me this is more than just thinking about doing so. Here's the brief summary from Marca:

Here's the interview:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc5oAjDgzPk
 
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Movistar has been doing interviews through their instagram page with their own riders. Today they talked to Alejandro. Alejandro has admitted that not only is he considering extending his career by another year. In the interview from what I could tell it sounds like when Spain lifted some restrictions to allow kids outside that he took Pablo out for a bike ride. To me this is more than just thinking about doing so. Here's the brief summary from Marca:
"Hasta que apareció la COVID-19 tenía decidido que 2021 sería mi última temporada, pero después de lo que ha pasado no puedo asegurar que no siga más allá de 2021 y que hable con Eusebio Unzué (manager de Movistar) para alargar otro año más mi carrera deportiva", confesó el campeón del mundo en ruta de 2018, que acaba de cumplir 40 años.

Here's the interview:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc5oAjDgzPk
Do you mean considering extending another year past next year if cycling is cancelled?
 
Good for cycling, need as much star power as we can get post Covid.
I agree. Cycling is going to need their current stars post Covid while new stars emerge.

In Alejandro's case every time he's force away from the sport it ends up extending his career. Also I think this shows that now that he's had time to think he's not as ready to retire as he thought he was. He knows it's inevitable and he's eventually going to have no choice but to retire. Right now he can push it back a little. I also think he has something planned that he wants to do to celebrate his retirement with his fans and he likely can't do it the way he wants to in an Olympic year.
 
I agree. Cycling is going to need their current stars post Covid while new stars emerge.

In Alejandro's case every time he's force away from the sport it ends up extending his career. Also I think this shows that now that he's had time to think he's not as ready to retire as he thought he was. He knows it's inevitable and he's eventually going to have no choice but to retire. Right now he can push it back a little. I also think he has something planned that he wants to do to celebrate his retirement with his fans and he likely can't do it the way he wants to in an Olympic year.
Riding 85% of the year for 25 years would take a toll on anyone physically and mentally. Most of the older pros in every sport seem to be prolonged by a big break somewhere along the line.
 
Riding 85% of the year for 25 years would take a toll on anyone physically and mentally. Most of the older pros in every sport seem to be prolonged by a big break somewhere along the line.
True. Although he hasn't actually said it, there are now reports in Spain that he may be considering racing through 2023, however, as I said I have no heard him actually say it. Apparently he has started to discussion racing through 2022 with Mr Unzue. Which means it's more than just thinking about it, if he's talking to Mr Unzue about racing another year it more likely than not that is going to happen.
 
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Is Movistar happy about just getting the odd win in a season and a potential podium in a GT with Valverde or do you think they would be better trying to persuade him to take a backroom role in the team and get somebody in who has a better chance on getting more wins? If Movistar have to rely on a 40 year old to get wins for them then there is something wrong with the running of the team. There are some decent riders out of contract coming up and I think Movistar could do better. Yes, he has done well for the team over his career but there has to come a time when the Team decides when someone has had his time and not the rider. Unless he has the final say in all team affairs.
 
Is Movistar happy about just getting the odd win in a season and a potential podium in a GT with Valverde or do you think they would be better trying to persuade him to take a backroom role in the team and get somebody in who has a better chance on getting more wins? If Movistar have to rely on a 40 year old to get wins for them then there is something wrong with the running of the team. There are some decent riders out of contract coming up and I think Movistar could do better. Yes, he has done well for the team over his career but there has to come a time when the Team decides when someone has had his time and not the rider. Unless he has the final say in all team affairs.
? Despite having a "down year," Valverde finished 5th in the UCI points standings in 2019. So unless Movistar signs Alaphilippe or Roglic, replacing Valverde won't result in an improvement.
 
Is Movistar happy about just getting the odd win in a season and a potential podium in a GT with Valverde or do you think they would be better trying to persuade him to take a backroom role in the team and get somebody in who has a better chance on getting more wins? If Movistar have to rely on a 40 year old to get wins for them then there is something wrong with the running of the team. There are some decent riders out of contract coming up and I think Movistar could do better. Yes, he has done well for the team over his career but there has to come a time when the Team decides when someone has had his time and not the rider. Unless he has the final say in all team affairs.
That 40 year old rider still finished 5th in the UCI points in an off year. That 40 year rider the year before had his 2nd most win total for a season. That 40 year old rider in a down year still had a ton of podium finishes including in both a monument and a Grand Tour. The team it's self said about 4 years ago when asked, to replace Valverde it would take between 2 and 4 riders minimum because they will never find another rider like him. It's not exactly easy to replace him. Also is seems you've missed that Movistar signed Enric Mas during the off season. They are putting a lot of hope into him being the future of the team. They are hoping to bet on him for Grand Tours. However, they also want him to have the safety net of Valverde and Enric Mas himself is excited to learn from Valverde and at the same time have leadership opportunities. Enric Mas has already shown some of his leadership abilities during the team meetings when he went to the non Spanish speaking riders to help them integrate into the team. One of the things Valverde has always done at team meetings is introduce himself to the new riders, especially the young riders and talk with them. Due to many new riders this year not knowing Spanish Mas offered to be a translator. So it's actually likely that the team is finding their new leader whom they are starting to build a team around.

Movistar asked some of their riders and staff for a picture from their youth and have posted those pictures with a recent picture. Here is the picture Alejandro provided.
 
Is Movistar happy about just getting the odd win in a season and a potential podium in a GT with Valverde or do you think they would be better trying to persuade him to take a backroom role in the team and get somebody in who has a better chance on getting more wins? If Movistar have to rely on a 40 year old to get wins for them then there is something wrong with the running of the team. There are some decent riders out of contract coming up and I think Movistar could do better. Yes, he has done well for the team over his career but there has to come a time when the Team decides when someone has had his time and not the rider. Unless he has the final say in all team affairs.
And who's stopping them from winning? Valverde? How?
You saw Movistar without Valverde in 2010/2011. You saw them in 2017 after Valverde's injury. Did they won something? Barely...
He'll be the leader only at La Vuelta (and not the sole leader), so other two GT's are up for grabs. At one-week races Valverde will probably be a leader at Catalunya and UAE, so plenty of other races for rest of them. At one-day races, well.., it's still Bala's playground. He's still one of the best in the peloton, and no one in Movistar comes close, but apart from Ardennes and Lombardia they can look for success.
 
Good schedule. He will probably add Lombardia as well...
I agree. I also think he will add Lombardia, but typically he doesn't mention it when doing his calendar so with a shortened season it only makes sense he doesn't mention it.

He did say he thinks he'll be fine because it never takes him that long to get into race shape, but he does think others will struggled and then he thinks some have been training too hard during this lock down. He's also interested in seeing how many riders either end their season after the Tour or don't go for a second peak because of the short off season.

He did say in the interview that he's going to the Tour as support for Mas and Soler. Then plans on going after the Vuelta. I guess it's possible that he may be about the only rider in the peloton even looking at la Vuelta as a main target.
 
Il Lombardia overlaps with La Vuelta so that is likely out.

The schedule itself is good and I want to see Bala racing as much as possible. However, I still think it's a bad idea that riders race outside of a small closed bubble before the Tour. Everyone has been in isolation and now is starting from close to zero with 3 1/2 months to plan. Therefore, it's very possible to create a controlled, closed environment for the Tour. Mixing outside that closed group (Italian races, Nationals) unnecessarily risks everything. And I seriously doubt the Giro and Vuelta are completed without COVID positives. I hope I'm wrong!
 
Il Lombardia overlaps with La Vuelta so that is likely out.

The schedule itself is good and I want to see Bala racing as much as possible. However, I still think it's a bad idea that riders race outside of a small closed bubble before the Tour. Everyone has been in isolation and now is starting from close to zero with 3 1/2 months to plan. Therefore, it's very possible to create a controlled, closed environment for the Tour. Mixing outside that closed group (Italian races, Nationals) unnecessarily risks everything. And I seriously doubt the Giro and Vuelta are completed without COVID positives. I hope I'm wrong!
You need racing KMs in your legs before the Tour and it's 100% impossible for riders to get that without leaving the country they live in. If you don't want people racing outside the country they live in before the Tour then scrap the season right now because they need racing before the Tour. Also remember everyone needs different types of training. There are rights who have said they need training camps and altitude camps while Alejandro is saying he won't even start getting into race shape until sometime in July but still needs some racing before a Grand Tour.

They just need a bubble around the teams where ever they are racing, but that'll be hard to do. Let's see what NASCAR manages over the next couple of weeks. They are more a guinea pig than Korea baseball is.

Lombardia overlapping la Vuelta would be a good reason he wouldn't be racing it.
 
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