Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde said he was targeting winning the Tour de France this year as he was finally able to be unveiled by his Movistar team here on Wednesday. Movistar had had to postpone the original ceremony in November as the 31-year-old – the 2009 Tour of Spain champion – had not yet come to the end of his two year drugs ban.
Valverde, who along with reigning Tour of Spain champion Juan Jose Cobo will lead the team, refused to answer questions about his ban and preferred to focus on his ambitions for his return.
“The one day Classics will help me a little as preparation for my main target, the Tour de France,” said Valverde, who used to ride for the Movistar team in its previous identity Caisse d’Epargne. “I am still lacking a little in stamina even if I have been training really hard,” added Valverde, who trained with the Movistar team even while he was serving his ban.
Eusebio Unzue, the team’s manager, said that team leader duties would be split between Valverde and Cobo, who like the former rode for Caisse d’Epargne before leaving for Geox last season.
“During the first-half of the year, the indisputable leader will be Alejandro Valverde, and for the Tour de France, they will both have the same targets,” he said. “As for the Tour of Italy I am not still clear as to who the riders will be.”