Alejandro Valverde has confirmed that he will retire after the 2022 season, claiming that it doesn't make sense for him to extend his career any longer.
The 41-year-old had actually planned on retiring at the end of 2021, but the pandemic and strong performances this year caused him to re-evaluate that decision. The Spaniard won the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain, plus stages in both the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Giro di Sicilia.
“I say it with absolute certainty: it will be my last year as a professional cyclist," Valverde said. "So it has been nice.
“I'm still racing at a good level, after twenty years in cycling, but my time has come. What more could I wish for? There's no point in going on any longer.
"I want to enjoy my last season as a professional.”
However, Valverde already has plans in place for when he retires. The 2009 Vuelta a España winner will still have two years remaining on his Movistar contract, and will move into helping younger rides develop.
"When I retire, for the moment, I have two more years of contract to remain in the structure of the Movistar team. I will try to help as much as I can, especially to train young people, an occupation that I like a lot."
The 2018 World Road Race Championships winner also confirmed that he won't start the Tour de France in his final season in the peloton, but he gave an idea as to what he has planned for his farewell year: "I already have something in mind for next year, but it's not final yet. I'm sure I won't do the Tour de France, but, if everything is going well, I do hope to contest the Vuelta next year.
"I will have to evaluate whether the Giro d'Italia is an option, and the Classics and also the national calendar."
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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.
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