Greg Van Avermaet: 'Valverde deserves this World Championship title - you should not bring up the past'

The reigning Olympic champion says that the new rainbow jersey wearer displays "pure talent"

Greg Van Avermaet at the UCI Road World Championships road race 2018

"Alejandro Valverde deserves this title," Olympic road race champion Greg Van Avermaet has said after the World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, despite the Spaniard's doping ban, 10 years ago.

The Spaniard, 38, won the world rainbow jersey on Sunday. He emerged over the last climb in a four-man attack group, and won the sprint ahead of Frenchman Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale).

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.