The world champion crashed in training in the build-up to Liège-Bastogne-Liège, suffering a bone edema – a build-up of fluid in his bone marrow – in his sacrum.
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Unaware of the injury, Valverde started Liège but was forced to abandon the race. His Movistar team later confirmed that he would miss the Giro d’Italia because of it; what would have been his second career visit to the Italian Grand Tour.
Valverde, 39, has since been training from his home in Murcia and in the last few days has been riding out of Granada into the mountains of Sierra Nevada.
According to Marca, Valverde will return to competition at the four-stage Route d’Occitanie in southern France, before riding the Tour de France alongside Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa for the second year in a row. Quintana is reportedly set to ride the Critérium du Dauphiné, having not raced since early April.
The trio led the Movistar team last year, failing to cohesively push for a result in general classification, with Quintana’s stage win to Col du Portet the saving grace.
The Colombian rode alongside Valverde again at the Vuelta in August 2018, with the latter staying in contention in the overall into the penultimate day of the race in Andorra, eventually finishing fifth overall as Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) won the red jersey.
Valverde will again take on his home race this year according to the report, before heading to the World Championships in Yorkshire where he’ll attempt to defend his rainbow jersey won in Tyrol last year.
The Spaniard has eluded to retiring following the 2020 Olympic Games road race, which takes on a mountainous course that should suit his prospects at taking a gold medal.