A 69 year-old man who allegedly intentionally reversed into Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and two friends has been released with charges by Spanish Police. Over the weekend he handed himself into local police in Murcia after a hit and run incident involving the Movistar captain.
Local media have reported that the man testified on Monday before the head of the court of instruction number 3 in Murcia. The duty judge decreed the provisional release of the 69-year old although he is obliged to appear in court when the case continues. He has also been ordered to surrender his vehicle and driving licence beforehand.
“The head of the court has indicated that, although there are indications of a possible crime against road safety, injuries and abandonment of the scene of the accident, it is not appreciated that the requirements that would justify pre-trial detention are met, such as the risk of escape, the concealment or destruction of evidence or preventing him from commiting a crime again” said Spanish media.
Alejandro Valverde has since been discharged from hospital
The Movistar rider was out riding with two friends in Murcia, Spain, when the incident occurred at the weekend. Spanish newspaper Marca (opens in new tab) reports that eyewitnesses saw a vehicle overtake the trio at high speed without leaving a safe distance, leading to the riders remonstrating with the driver.
The driver then reportedly reversed back into Valverde and his friends, before fleeing the scene.
All three riders were taken to the Virgen de la Arrixaca hospital, but fortunately none of them suffered any serious injuries, confirmed by Valverde and his Movistar team on social media.
Eyewitnesses managed to spot the licence plate of the vehicle before the driver handed himself in, and Spanish outlet Ciclismo a fondo is now reporting that the incident was being investigated as an attempted murder.
Valverde spent the night in hospital under observation, after suffering a cervical contusion and feeling dizzy at the scene of the incident. The Spaniard felt better overnight, though, with doctors discharging him on Sunday.
From his hospital bed, Valverde said: "I want to thank you all for the support and affection that I have received today. Luckily everything has been a scare and I'm fine."
Now recovering at home, the Spaniard will likely resume training in the coming days as his preparations for the final Grand Tour of his career continue. Retiring at the end of 2022, Valverde had earmarked an appearance at the Vuelta a España as one of his last in professional cycling.
With the race starting on August 19, the 42-year-old still has over a month to get back in peak condition for the Vuelta, with an appearance on July 30 at the Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa also a possibility.
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Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.
- Tom ThewlisDigital News and Features Writer
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