Madrid, Sept. 16 – Alejandro Valverde, World champion on the road, said he felt “hallucinated” for the second place in the 74th edition of the Tour, the last competition in which he wore the rainbow jersey, a pledge he will try to renew the day 29 in Yorkshire (United Kingdom)
“I am amazed, it has been a very beautiful Tour, I came to win a stage, since in principle the leaders were Richard Carapaz and Nairo Quintana. We started well with the victory of Nairo and then with me. Every day I was better, I focused on the general and yesterday in La Cibeles I went on the podium as second. All a pride, with Roglic next door and Pogacar, who almost doubled in age. ”
A special day because it meant the farewell in competition of the world champion jersey, but with the hope, “although difficult”, to renew it soon.
“Yes, it was the farewell of this beautiful jersey. I have very few days left, because now I go with the national team and we have to dress in the colors of Spain. Let’s see if I can do something in Yorkshire to continue wearing it. It is very difficult , but not impossible”.
Valverde, 39, said after the presentation of the documentary “A year of rainbows” at the Madrid headquarters of Telefónica, that the only secret of his career is “that you like cycling, having conditions and the company, both family like the team. ”
Despite being the first Spanish classified in the Vuelta near 40, Valverde does not believe that the future of Spanish cycling is disturbing.
“In this Tour, runners like Enric Mas or Landa have been lacking. It’s hard to get a track record like mine, but good runners like Marc Soler are coming. I think there’s a future.”
The “Bala” does not see in the national scene a runner of his characteristics, but he pointed out the Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe as a cyclist “very similar” to him.
On the controversy that occurred in the Toledo stage by the fall of some leaders and the acceleration of Movistar, Valverde offered his point of view for the first time.
“The fall came because there was tension in the platoon. We knew there was going to be wind and there would be cuts. We had studied it and planned to accelerate in that area. When the accident with Roglic and Superman López occurred we were already developing our plan. Then the UCI decided to regroup the platoon and we abide by the decision. ”
The world champion clarified: “Anyone can fall and you do not like to accelerate in that circumstance even if you have planned. At that time maybe we did not do the right thing, but it was what was planned.”
“I am not a runner who takes advantage of these situations, but many have sometimes taken advantage of my falls, I will have a lot of fun, but I am a respected runner in the squad and I do not like to be looked badly at me. There was a bad atmosphere and no I liked nothing. ”
He also referred to the battle raised by Astana on the penultimate day in Gredos, where rivals “threw everything.”
“Everyone acts as they want. They went out to the fullest, to burst everything, I thought that the stage in Serranillos ended, I did not know if they had looked at the route. We want to respect and respect us, and speak with serenity and good.”
One of the most personal aspects in the report “A year of rainbows” refers to the pressure of elite athletes, which sometimes leads to depression, as was the case of Valverde in 2012 after serving the penalty for its involvement in a doping plot.
“It is a problem that we all suffer in any area of life, but a person exposed to the public has more pressure. What has happened to Iniesta has been told, but surely there are many more they have or have had. Everything has a solution.” .