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Alejandro Valverde wants to enjoy his last year of racing before retirement

Alejandro Valverde has confirmed that he will “100 per cent” retire after the 2022 season, putting an end to a 21-year career at the age of 42

Alejandro Valverde wants to enjoy his last year of racing before retirement

With 130 professional wins to his name, including the 2009 Vuelta a Espana, cycling legend Alejandro Valverde has announced he will retire at the end of the 2022 season. 

Valverde's illustrious career began in 2002, and he won the 2009 Vuelta a Espana, La Fleche Wallonne five times and Liege-Bastogne-Liege on four occasions, with 130 professional wins overall.
 
He was banned from the sport in 2012 for his involvement in Operacion Puerto, but was successful on his return and won the world road race title in 2018.

The Movistar rider actually wanted to say goodbye this year, but because of the corona pandemic and good results in 2021, Valverde decided to continue for another year.

Valverde crashed out of the 2021 Vuelta a España, fracturing his collarbone but returned to racing within a few weeks to win a stage at the Giro di Sicilia and finish fifth at Il Lombardia.

“I say it with absolute certainty: it will be my last year as a professional cyclist,” Valverde said. “So it has been nice”.

“I’m still racing at a good level, after 20 years in cycling, but my time has come. What more could I wish for? There’s no point in going on any longer. I want to enjoy my last season as a professional.”

“When I retire, for the moment, I have two more years of contract to remain in the structure of the Movistar team. I will try to help as much as I can, especially to train young people, an occupation that I like a lot.”

Valverde doesn’t know his final program for 2022, but excludes a start at the Tour de France.

“I already have something in mind for next year, but it’s not final yet. I’m sure I won’t do the Tour de France, but, if everything is going well, I do hope to contest the Vuelta next year.

“I will have to evaluate whether the Giro d’Italia is an option, and the Classics and also the national calendar.”