Alejandro Valverde will ride Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España in final season

The Spanish rider consequently won't compete at the Tour de France ever again

Alejandro Valverde retirement 2022
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Alejandro Valverde has confirmed he will race the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España next season, and expects to return to the Ardennes Classics too. 

As a result, the Spaniard won't compete at the Tour de France next season, with the Vuelta, understandably the priority, taking place just weeks after the conclusion of the race in Paris.

Valverde made clear last month he will retire at the end of 2022, stating he doesn't need to go on any longer in professional cycling. He reiterated those comments on Wednesday while speaking with reporters in Sangüesa, where he also outlined his plans for next season. 

He told Radiogaceta de los Deportes: “I tell you with full confidence, at 100 per cent, that next season will be my last as a cyclist. Even though at 42 my level is still good, after 21 years racing, what more do I want? My time has come.

"I already have something in mind for next year. The Tour de France I'm sure I won't do it but, if everything is going well, I will be in the Vuelta a España. 

"I will do the Giro d'Italia, the Classics and then I will have to evaluate the national calendar."

Valverde will compete in the Giro for only the second time in his career in 2022, after he finished third in 2016 following a stage win. 

Though he clearly would have liked to participate in the Tour de France, the Movistar rider needs time to recover sufficiently between events. Considering that the Vuelta in his home country is the priority, it makes sense he has opted out of racing the Tour.

Additionally, Valverde has a strong affinity with the Ardennes Classics, where he will hope to add a sixth victory at Flèche Wallonne and a record-tying fifth victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. 

However, the 41-year-old seems intent on enjoying his last year in the sport, while still maintaining a certain level of ambition. 

He told Ciclismo a Fondo: “I want to enjoy every race and be competitive."