Alejandro Valverde says he will retire at the end of 2021

The 40-year-old still wants to add an Olympic medal to his long list of achievements before he hangs up the bike

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Alejandro Valverde has announced that he is looking to retire at the end of the 2021 season so he can have one last go at an Olympic medal.

The Spanish Movistar Team veteran comes into the 2021 season with the Tokyo Olympics being the main goal for the whole year as he looks to be in a more supporting role for new signing Miguel Ángel López at races like the Tour de France.

At the team presentation, as reported by EuropaPress (opens in new tab) , Valverde said: "I have thought that this is my last year, but I start with the same enthusiasm and with the intention of doing well for the team and if victories come, then good.

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"It will be a nice, special year. Lets see if we do everything. As an objective I have the Olympic Games.

"This year is still difficult, but at a sporting level I continue to train and fight to be one hundred percent for when the season starts,"

Valverde was originally going to retire in 2020 after riding the Olympics road race but carried on his career due to the postponement of the Games due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Spaniard took 10th at the 2020 Vuelta a España and 12th at the Tour de France along with several other top performances.

Movistar has a different look in 2021, with a more international squad as riders join from Austria, Denmark and Puerto Rico to add to the Spanish and Colombian core to the team.

The team are also looking to target all three Grand Tours, with Marc Soler finally getting his chance to properly lead a team at the Giro d'Italia, Enric Mas and Miguel Ángel López are down to share leadership at the Tour and then López will go and lead the squad at the Vuelta.

Meanwhile, new signing Iván García Cortina will be looking at putting in a solid spring Classics campaign with support from riders like Gregor Mühlberger.

The women's side of the team has a new look too, all based around European champion Annemiek van Vleuten as the Dutchwoman looks to challenge herself away from Team BikeExchange.

Netflix have also announced that they will be releasing the second season to their 'fly on the wall' documentary, 'El Dia Menos Pensado' or The Least Expected Day, in the spring of 2021.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.