Valverde: “I won’t have any problem giving up on stage wins for Nairo”

In an interview for Spanish newspaper, El Espanol, Alejandro Valverde admitted that it would be the first time since he turned pro when he will race the Tour de France without fighting for a top placing.

“It will be the first-ever Grand Tour and the first major race of any kind that I’ve taken part feeling completely relaxed”, said the Spanish road champion. “If I have to waste time on a flat stage, I will lose and I won’t be upset. When we reach the mountains I’ll be fresher this way in order to be able to help Nairo. I’ll also be freer to hunt for a stage victory, on the understanding, of course, that it doesn’t harm the team’s main goals. If I’m ahead on a stage and Nairo attacks behind and I receive orders to stop for him, then I will do so. I won’t have any problem giving up on wins for him.”

Valverde talked also about Operacion Puerto, which has been closed this week: “They closed the case, but mine will be nothing new. I was already sanctioned, and I have no reason to be worried. From that sanction I made a new life of cyclist and I really enjoyed it later”.

Regarding the last part of the season, Valverde said he is not sure if he will take part in the Vuelta a España: “If the route had been more in the south of Spain I would be keener to do it because it would be like racing at home. But so many stages in the north changes things a little, also there could be teammates who will want to race it and perhaps it makes more sense for them to do it.”