37-year-old hoping to finally win World Championship in 2018

Three months on from fracturing his knee cap in a crash on the opening stage of the 2017 Tour de France, Alejandro Valverde has said that he hopes not return to the race next year as Movistar focus on supporting Nairo Quintana and new signing Mikel Landa.

Valverde, who has finished in the top ten of the Tour on six occasions, says that it will be better if he focuses on other objectives now that his team has so many GC options.

“With the signings that the team has made this year, with Landa, with Nairo there … I do not want [to go to the] Tour,” Valverde told Spanish newspaper El Pais.

“I think next year what I have to do is dedicate more to doing the Giro, the Vuelta and the Worlds. Next year, the World Championships in Austria are really tough.”

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Valverde has a remarkable record in the World Championships road race, finishing on the podium on six occasions and only twice finishing outside the top 10.

Now 37, and with very mountainous course on the cards in Innsbruck, Austria, the Spaniard is already concentrating on winning his first rainbow jersey next September.

“I have few opportunities left to win the World Championships,” Valverde continued. “I have six medals, but no gold. And in Innsbruck it’s very, very hard. And if all goes well…

“Well, looking at how I’ve recovered from my broken knee. Everything is going well for now, but until you start to go for it you can’t really be sure.”