Alejandro Valverde: Wikis

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Alejandro Valverde
Alejandro Valverde 05tour.jpg
Personal information
Full name Alejandro Valverde Belmonte
Nickname Bala Verde (The Green Bullet)
El Imbatido (The Unbeaten)
Date of birth April 25, 1980 (1980-04-25) (age 29)
Country Spain
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 61 kg (130 lb; 9.6 st)
Team information
Current team Caisse d'Epargne
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type All-Rounder
Professional team(s)1
2002–2004
2005–
Comunitat Valenciana/Kelme
Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne
Major wins
Vuelta a España
Jersey gold.svg Overall classification (2009)
Jersey white.svg Combination classification (2003, 2009)
5 stages

Tour de France

3 stages

UCI ProTour (2006, 2008)
Spain Spanish National Road Race (2008)
La Flèche Wallonne (2006)
Liège-Bastogne-Liège (2006, 2008)
Clasica de San Sebastian (2008)
Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (2008, 2009)
Volta a Catalunya (2009)

Infobox last updated on:
June 29, 2008

1 Team names given are those prevailing
at time of rider beginning association with that team.

Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (born April 25, 1980 in Las Lumbreras, Murcia) is a Spanish road racing cyclist for UCI ProTeam Caisse d'Epargne. Valverde's biggest wins have been the 2009 Vuelta a España, the Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2006, 2008 and 2006 UCI ProTour series championship. He has twice collected the silver medal in the UCI Road World Championships, in 2003 and 2005. Valverde is rare in combining different specialities in road bicycle racing, being a strong climber, time trialist and sprinter.

Contents

Biography

Valverde came from a cycling family, his father Juan was an amateur bicycle racer and bought him a bike when he was six years old.[1] His brother Juan Francisco was also an amateur road racing cyclist. Valverde's first race was in Jumilla, in his region of Murcia, and he finished second. On the following week he won his second race in Yecla.[2] He allegedly took more than fifty consecutive victories between 11 and 13 years old, earning him the nickname El Imbatido (The Unbeaten).[3]

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Amateur career

Due to his many wins, Valverde was offered to ride for the elite amateur team Banesto based in Navarra, some distance away from his home in Murcia. Perhaps due to the exhaustion from having to travel back and forth every weekend, his performance suffered while with the team.[3]

He moved to the development team of the Kelme professional squad and was coached by Francisco Moya, whom he credited with helping him become a better cyclist. Kelme also promised to allow him to move to the professional squad if he showed good performance. At the end of his first season with the Kelme amateur squad, they offered to move him to the professional squad.[3]

Kelme (2002–2004)

Valverde turned professional in 2002 when he signed a contract with the Spanish team Kelme, with whom he stayed until the end of the 2004 season. During his time with Kelme he had a breakthrough year in 2003 Vuelta a España, where he won two stages and finished third in the General classification. That year he also won the Vuelta a Mallorca and a stage in Vuelta al País Vasco and other Spanish races like GP Primavera and GP Villafranca de Ordizia. He ended the season with a second place in the 2003 UCI Road World Championships behind Igor Astarloa after winning the sprint ahead of Peter Van Petegem and Paolo Bettini.[4]

In the 2004 season he decided to stay with Kelme despite the team's financial woes and offers from other teams. He went on to win the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, the Vuelta a Murcia, a stage in the Vuelta al País Vasco, the Vuelta a Burgos and taking fourth in the 2004 Vuelta a España. Although he won a stage in the Vuelta, he was injured in a crash that forced him to downscale his ambitions in the overall classification.[5] He also participated in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Caisse d'Epargne

Valverde riding behind Mancebo and Casarrubios at the 2005 Clásica a los Puertos.

Valverde joined the UCI ProTeam Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne in 2005.[6] He won the last stage in Paris-Nice and finished second overall behind Bobby Julich. He also took two stages in the Vuelta al País Vasco. In his first ever appearance at the Tour de France, he won the 10th stage of the Tour de France ahead of Lance Armstrong, whom he beat in the sprint into Courchevel at the end of a mountain stage in the Alps.[7] After Stage 12, he was in 5th place on GC, 3 minutes and 16 seconds behind Lance Armstrong. He was also leading in the Young Rider Classification (white jersey), with a 3 minute and 9 second lead on Armstrong teammate Yaroslav Popovych.[8] However, Valverde was forced to withdraw from the Tour during the 13th stage because of a knee injury. Valverde recovered barely in time for the UCI World Cycling Championship in Madrid, Spain. The injury of Óscar Freire, who was the Spanish team captain, forced him to become the team leader, despite having had only one day of competition before the World's. Amazingly, he was able to be competitive and finished second to winner Tom Boonen.[9]

2006

In 2006, Valverde won a stage in the Vuelta al País Vasco, finishing 2nd overall and capturing the points competition. He then completed a prestigious double in the Spring classics, winning La Flèche Wallonne and taking victory four days later at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Valverde subsequently won a stage in the Tour de Romandie finishing 3rd overall. Valverde planned to challenge at the 2006 Tour de France, and has stated that he hopes to win in the future. He went to the Pinarello bicycle factory in Treviso, Italy, to optimize his time-trialing performance. In fact he started among the favourites for the Tour after the withdrawal of Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso due to a doping investigation. However, on the third stage of the 2006 Tour de France, Valverde crashed, and had to abandon the Tour with a fractured right collarbone. His ambition to win a Grand Tour shifted to the Vuelta, later that year.

Valverde entered the 2006 Vuelta as the top favorite. Since he did not ride a full Tour de France he was in better condition than some of the other candidates for the victory: Menchov (title defender) and Sastre both ended in the top 10 of the 2006 Tour de France and were expected to be somewhat fatigued. Valverde won the 7th stage and dominated mountain stages, earning him the gold leader jersey after stage 9. Valverde lost the jersey however due to the aggressive climbing and attacking of Alexander Vinokourov. In the last time trial, Valverde again lost time on Vinokourov and had to settle for the 2nd place in the overall standings, his second podium finish in a Grand Tour. Following his impressive performance in the Vuelta Valverde won yet another major title, winning the 2006 UCI ProTour with several major races still left on the calendar as his point lead had reached unassailable levels. At the 2006 World Championship, Valverde was considered one of the favorites for the title. Although he did not win, he was able to finish 3rd and claim a bronze medal.

2007

He started 2007 by winning the overall classification at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Vuelta a Murcia. In stage 4 of the Vuelta a Murcia, Valverde accomplished his first win in an individual time trial.[10] He also finished third in the Critérium International and fifth in Vuelta al País Vasco. In the Ardennes classics he took second place in both La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, unable to repeat the double victory of 2006 season. In the 2007 Tour de France, Valverde was seen as one of the favorites for the yellow jersey until he had a disastrous individual time trial that diminished his chances of fighting for the overall classification. He subsequently finished sixth overall, eleven minutes behind, and thus finished his first Tour de France after being unable to complete the race in 2005 and 2006. He decided not to race the Vuelta a España in order to prepare for the 2007 UCI Road World Championships.[11] On August 29, 2007, the UCI announced that they prevented Valverde from riding the 2007 UCI Road World Championships in Stuttgart because of his possible implication in the Operación Puerto doping investigation to safeguard the atmosphere and reputation of the World Championships.[12] The UCI also called upon the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) to open disciplinary proceedings against the rider, but RFEC refused to comply with the UCI's request, saying there was no new evidence against him. RFEC also included Valverde in its squad for the World Championships.[13] The matter was taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which authorised Valverde to participate in the 2007 UCI Road World Championships.[14]

2008

Valverde wearing the points jersey at the 9th stage of the 2008 Vuelta a España.

In 2008, Valverde showed strong form in the spring. After winning the Vuelta a Murcia, Valverde was focused on training. He announced his readiness with a podium finish in the Klasika Primavera and a triumph at the Paris-Camembert. These successes foreshadowed excellent results in the Ardennes classics: a podium at the Amstel Gold and victory in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Valverde also won the 2008 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré and the Spanish National Road Race Championship in June. On July 5, Valverde won the first stage of the 2008 Tour de France. His form faltered in the Pyrenees, and after being dropped on the Col de Tourmalet, eventually losing 5'52" to stage winner Leonardo Piepoli, scrapping hopes of a podium finish. He performed better in the Alps and claimed a top ten finish. On Alp d'Huez it appeared that he was working alongside Team CSC to try and eliminate Cadel Evans. He followed the Tour with a strong victory in 2008 Clasica de San Sebastian, leading out the sprint and holding off Aleksandr Kolobnev and Davide Rebellin. Later, at the 2008 Vuelta a España, he started strong, winning the second stage and wearing the general classification leader on the 3rd one. He was the first week on head positions. However he lost around two minutes on a very wet stage to Saunces and lost any option to podium. However, he ended up in 4th position with some fantastic performances including his incredible ride up the Angrilu, where he was only bettered by Alberto Contador and then a good performance in the mountain time-trial. Before the participation at the 2008 UCI Road World Championships at Varese, he was mathematically proclammed the 2008 UCI ProTour winner, being his second win in the 4 editions of the competition.

2009

Valverde started 2009 in good form by taking the points and mountain classification in the Vuelta a Castilla y León while finishing 9th overall with two stage victories. He could not repeat his successes of the last few years in the spring classics with his best result being a 7th at La Flèche Wallonne. He won the Klasika Primavera and the Volta a Catalunya to put those disappointments behind him. With the threat of not racing the Tour de France hanging over his head he entered the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré hoping to prove his worth. He performed consistently throughout the two early time-trials to stay in touch with the leaders before finishing second on the Ventoux to take the lead in the overall classification. Though Cadel Evans repeatedly attacked him in the final days he stayed on his wheel, with the help of compatriot Alberto Contador, to take the yellow jersey. On the back of these successes he appealed his ban by the Italian authorities with the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the hope of racing the tour. On 20 September 2009, Valverde clinched the overall victory in the 2009 Vuelta a España. [15]

Allegations of drug use

Alejandro Valverde has been linked by documentary and DNA evidence to the Operación Puerto, a blood-doping affair which erupted in 2006 against doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and a number of accomplices. It uncovered doping products, bags of blood and code names that appeared to link top athletes, including 60 cyclists, to a highly-organized system of doping, which relied heavily on blood transfusions.[16]

Valverde was not initially linked in the investigation, but internal documents from Madrid's Court 31 allegedly linked Valverde to confiscated blood via codes Valv, Piti and 18.[17] In 2007 Valverde was banned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) from competing in the UCI Road World Championships in Stuttgart but Valverde was cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to compete at the championships.[18] Dick Pound, World Anti-Doping Agency president, said the CAS decision didn’t mean that Valverde was no longer a suspect.[19]

In early 2009 the Italian National Olympic Committee matched DNA samples taken from Valverde during a rest day in Italy of the 2008 Tour de France to blood seized in the Operación Puerto investigation.[20] At a February 2009 appearance in front of the Olympic Committee, Valverde maintained his innocence and questioned the Italians' jurisdiction over this case. In May 2009, the Italian Olympic Committee suspended him from competition in Italy for 2 years, effectively barring him from the 2009 Tour de France, which detoured briefly onto Italian soil.[21] Valverde filed an unsuccessful appeal against the Italian ban with the Court of Arbitration for Sport; in a second hearing, scheduled for March 18-21 2010, the UCI and WADA will contest the Spanish Cycling Federation's decision not to open a case against Valverde.[22]

Major achievements

2001
 Spain U23 Road Race Champion
2003
2nd, World Cycling Championship Road Race
3rd overall, Vuelta a España
1st, Stages 9 and 15
Jersey white.svg Winner combination classification
1st, GP Primavera
1st, GP Villafranca de Ordizia
2 stage wins, Troféu Joaquim Agostinho
Stage win, Vuelta al País Vasco
Stage win, Vuelta a Aragón
2004
3rd overall and 1 stage win, Vuelta a España
1st overall and 3 stage wins, Vuelta a Burgos
1st overall and 2 stage wins, Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
1st overall, Vuelta a Murcia
1st, Trofeo Cala Millor - Cala Ratjada
3 stage wins Vuelta a Castilla y León
Stage win, Vuelta al País Vasco
1st, GP Primavera
2nd Spanish National Road Race Championships
2005
1st, Stage 10, Tour de France
1st, Stage 8, Paris-Nice
1st, Trofeo Manacor
1st, Trofeo Soller
1st, Stages 3 and 4, Vuelta al País Vasco
2nd overall, World Cycling Championships Road Race
2006
Champion, UCI ProTour
2nd Overall, Vuelta a España
1st, Stage 7
3rd, World Cycling Championships Road Race
1st, La Flèche Wallonne
1st, Liège-Bastogne-Liège
1st, Stage 2, Vuelta a Murcia
2nd, Overall, Vuelta al País Vasco
1st, Points Classification
1st, Stage 1
3rd, Overall, Tour de Romandie
1st, Stage 4
2007
2nd, Liège-Bastogne-Liège
2nd, La Flèche Wallonne
1st, Overall, Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
1st Overall, Vuelta a Murcia
1st Stage 4
3rd Overall,Critérium International
1st, Points classification
1st Stage 4, Vuelta a Burgos
6th Overall, Tour de France
2nd Spanish National Road Race Championships
2008
Champion, UCI ProTour
1st Overall, Vuelta a Murcia
1st Stage 4
2nd, Klasika Primavera
1st, Paris-Camembert
3rd, Amstel Gold Race
1st, Liège-Bastogne-Liège
1st Overall, Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st, Points Classification
1st, Stage 1
1st, Stage 3 (ITT)
1st, Spain Spanish National Road Race Championships
9th Overall, Tour de France
1st, Stage 1
1st, Stage 6
1st, Clásica de San Sebastián
5th Overall, Vuelta a España
1st, Stage 2
2009
9th Overall, Vuelta a Castilla y León
1st, Points Classification
1st, Mountains Classification
1st, Combination Classification
1st, Stage 3
1st, Stage 5
1st, Klasika Primavera
7th, La Flèche Wallonne
1st, Overall, Volta a Catalunya
1st, Stage 3
1st Overall, Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st overall, Vuelta a Burgos
Jersey gold.svg 1st Overall, Vuelta a España
Jersey white.svg Winner combination classification
2010
1st, Tour Méditerranéen
2nd, Paris-Nice
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Danilo Di Luca
Cadel Evans
UCI ProTour Champion
2006
2008
Succeeded by
Cadel Evans
Alberto Contador
Preceded by
Joaquim Rodríguez
Spanish Road Race Champion
2008
Succeeded by
Rubén Plaza
Preceded by
Danilo Di Luca
La Flèche Wallonne
2006
Succeeded by
Davide Rebellin
Preceded by
Alexander Vinokourov
Danilo Di Luca
Liège-Bastogne-Liège
2006
2008
Succeeded by
Danilo Di Luca
Andy Schleck

External links

References

  1. ^ "El portento del pelotón (Spanish)". elperiodicodearagon.com. 14 October 2003. http://www.elperiodicodearagon.com/noticias/noticia.asp?pkid=81183. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  2. ^ "Valverde: Siempre campeón, en la bici y en la noche de bodas (Spanish)". as.com. 13 July 2005. http://www.as.com/mas-deporte/articulo/valverde-siempre-campeon-bici-noche/dasmas/20050713dasdaimas_3/Tes. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  3. ^ a b c "Valverde: "Mis sueños de niño se están haciendo realidad" (Spanish)". as.com. 24 December 2005. http://www.marca.com/edicion/marca/ciclismo/es/desarrollo/603338.html. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  4. ^ "Day 6 - October 12: Elite Men Road Race, 260.4 km". cyclingnews.com. 12 October 2003. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2003/worlds03/?id=emr. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  5. ^ "X-rays OK for Valverde". cyclingnews.com. 15 September 2004. http://autobus.cyclingnews.co.nz/news.php?id=news/2004/sep04/sep15news2. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  6. ^ "Valverde confirms close deal with Illes Balears". cyclingnews.com. 19 October 2004. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2004/oct04/oct19news2. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  7. ^ "Stage 10 - Tuesday, July 12: Brignoud - Courchevel, 181 km". cyclingnews.com. 12 July 2005. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2005/tour05/?id=results/tour0510. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  8. ^ "Stage 13 - Friday, July 15: Miramas - Montpellier, 173.5 km". cyclingnews.com. 15 July 2005. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2005/tour05/?id=results/tour0513. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  9. ^ "Race 6 - September 25: Elite men's road race, 273km". cyclingnews.com. 25 September 2005. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2005//worlds05/?id=results/worlds056. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  10. ^ "Stage 4 - March 10: Alhama De Murcia - Aledo ITT, 23.3 km". cyclingnews.com. 10 March 2007. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road.php?id=road/2007/mar07/murcia07/murcia074. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  11. ^ "Monday's EuroFile: Valverde at Burgos; No Vuelta for Astana; Farrar on reserve". velonews.com. 13 August 2007. http://www.velonews.com/race/int/articles/13085.0.html. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  12. ^ "Press release : Puerto affair : the UCI seeks disciplinary proceedings against Alejandro Valverde". uci.ch. 29 August 2007. http://www.uci.ch/Modules/ENews/ENewsDetails.asp?source=SiteSearch&id=NTIyNA&MenuId=MTI2Mjg&CharValList=633%3B&CharTextList=&CharFromList=&CharToList=&txtSiteSearch=valverde&SelChar214=633. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  13. ^ "Spain defy Valverde world champs ban". uk.eurosport.yahoo.com. 20 September 2007. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/20092007/58/spain-defy-valverde-world-champs-ban.html. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  14. ^ "Alejandro Valverde Authorised to ride in the World Championships in Stuttgart". tas-cas.org. 26 September 2007. http://www.tas-cas.org/en/medias/media3.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  15. ^ "Valverde wins Tour of Spain crown". BBC Sport. 2009-09-20. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/8265698.stm. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  16. ^ "Puerto case to be reopened". velonews.com. 2008-02-14. http://www.velonews.com/article/72059. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  17. ^ "No EPO in Basso's blood bags but different for Valverde". cyclingnews.com. 2007-05-07. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2007/may07/may07news. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  18. ^ See 2007 season section for further information.
  19. ^ "Puerto case to be reopened". velonews.com. 2007-11-15. http://velonews.com/article/13678. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  20. ^ "No EPO in Basso's blood bags but different for Valverde". cyclingnews.com. 2009-02-11. http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2009/feb09/feb11news3. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  21. ^ Prosecutor Recommends 2 Year Ban SI.com, April 1, 2009
  22. ^ http://www.dailypeloton.com/displayarticle.asp?pk=16096

Simple English

File:Alejandro Valverde
Alejandro Valverde in 2005

Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (born April 25, 1980) is a Spanish road racing cyclist. He rides for the Caisse d'Epargne team. Valverde won the Liège-Bastogne-Liège race in 2006 and 2008. He was second in the 2006 Vuelta a España and sixth in the 2007 Tour de France. He won the 2008 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, an important race before the 2008 Tour de France. This means that many people think he will do well in the Tour.

Valverde is a strong climber, sprinter and time trialist.

Achievements

Medal record
Competitor for
Road bicycle racing
UCI Road World Championships
Silver 2005 Madrid Elite Men's Road Race
Silver 2003 Hamilton Elite Men's Road Race
Bronze 2006 Salzburg Elite Men's Road Race
2001
U23 Road Race Champion
2003
2nd overall, World Cycling Championship Road Race
3rd overall, Vuelta a España
1st, Stages 9 and 15
1st, Combined Classification
2nd, Points Classification
1st, GP Primavera
1st, GP Villafranca de Ordizia
2 stage wins, Troféu Joaquim Agostinho
Stage win, Vuelta al País Vasco
Stage win, Vuelta a Aragón
2004
4th overall and 1 stage win, Vuelta a España
1st overall and 3 stage wins, Vuelta a Burgos
1st overall and 2 stage wins, Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
1st overall, Vuelta a Murcia
1st, Trofeo Cala Millor - Cala Ratjada
3 stage wins Vuelta a Castilla y León
Stage win, Vuelta al País Vasco
1st, GP Primavera
2005
1st, Stage 10, Tour de France
1st, Stage 8, Paris-Nice
1st, Trofeo Manacor
1st, Trofeo Soller
1st, Stages 3 and 4, Vuelta al País Vasco
2nd overall, World Cycling Championships Road Race
2006
Champion, UCI ProTour
2nd Overall, Vuelta a España
1st, Stage 7
3rd overall, World Cycling Championships Road Race
1st, La Flèche Wallonne
1st, Liège-Bastogne-Liège
1st, Stage, Vuelta a Murcia
2nd, Overall, Vuelta al País Vasco
1st, Points Classification
1st, Stage 1
3rd, Overall, Tour de Romandie
1st, Stage 4
7th, Overall, Dauphiné Libéré
2007
2nd, Liège-Bastogne-Liège
2nd, La Flèche Wallonne
7th, Amstel Gold Race
5th Overall, Vuelta al País Vasco
3rd, Vuelta al País Vasco, Stage 4
1st, Overall, Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana
1st Overall, Vuelta a Murcia
1st Stage 4
3rd Overall,Critérium International
1st, Points classification
1st Stage 4, Vuelta a Burgos
6th Overall, Tour de France
2nd, Stage 9
2008
1st Overall, Vuelta a Murcia
1st Stage 4
2nd, Klasika Primavera
1st, Paris-Camembert
3rd, Amstel Gold Race
1st, Liège-Bastogne-Liège
1st Overall, Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
1st, Points Classification
1st, Stage 1, Stage 4 (ITT)

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