Alejandro Valverde to debut at Tour of Flanders ahead of Giro d'Italia bid

Alejandro Valverde's early season will see him only racing one stage race before the Giro d'Italia in May, with the Tour of Flanders on his radar

22 April 2015 79th La Fleche Wallonne 1st : VALVERDE Alejandro (ESP) Movistar Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Movistar's Alejandro Valverde will make his first appearance at the Tour of Flanders in his build up to his Giro d'Italia debut in May.

The Spaniard has form racing on cobbles, having ridden Dwars Doors Vlaanderen and E3 Harelbeke in 2014 to prepare for the cobbled stage of the Tour de France.

But at Movistar's training camp in Pamplona, it was revealed that Valverde would ride Flanders and the Giro in May, both new races for him.

The only stage race he will enter before the Giro will be March's Tirreno-Adriatico, where he last raced in 2002. After the Giro he will reportedly ride the Tour de France alongside Nairo Quintana - the duo finished second and third in 2015.

But one of Valverde's main goals of the year is the Olympic Games road race in Rio, which favours the climbers and has attracted a field that will likely include Chris Froome and his teammate Quintana.

Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.