Alejandro Valverde

Nationality: Spanish
Date of birth: April 25, 1980
Height: 176cm
Weight: 62kg
Team: Movistar
Twitter: @alejanvalverde

Alejandro Valverde won the 2018 UCI road world championships, to wear the rainbow jersey through 2019.

His palmares is one of the most impressive in modern cycling, yet his involvement in Operacion Puerto sullied his reputation and left a huge question mark over the whole of his career.

His greatest achievement was the overall win in the Vuelta a España in 2009, but the Spaniard was given a two-year suspension the following year for his use of banned blood-booster EPO.

All of Valverde’s 2010 results were negated, but he came back to the sport almost the rider he was beforehand. Almost, but not quite. He has steadily improved since his return, however, and finally secured a podium spot at the Tour de France in 2015, riding alongside Nairo Quintana, who finished second.

As Spanish champion he went on to take a top-10 finish at the 2015 Vuelta a España and top the UCI WorldTour rankings for a second consecutive year.

His quality has never been in question, but it seems a stretch now to imagine him ever adding another Grand Tour overall win to his palmarès.

2017 saw a real resurgence for the Spanish rider as he added a fourth Liege-Bastogne-Liege title and a fifth La Fleche Wallone win to his collection. The regularity with which he has won La Fleche Wallone has even prompted race organisers to potentially move the finishing line to give other riders a chance to win.

Unfortunately a crash in the opening prologue of the Tour de France put him out of the race, with a broken knee cap that will take some time to heal.

Remarkably, Valverde returned to racing in early 2018 pretty much as he left off, claiming a host of wins including oveall victories in the Volta a Catalunya, Abu Dhabi Tour and Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana – and of course the UCI world champs.

Key results: Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2006, 2008, 2015 2017 | Flèche Wallonne 2006, 2014, 2015 2016 2017  | Vuelta a España 2009 | UCI ProTour 2006, 2008 | UCI WorldTour 2014, 2015