04 June 2020

Alejandro Valverde to target Tour de France ahead of world title tilt

Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde has revealed he will target the Tour de France as preparation for this year’s world championships in Switzerland.

The 40 year-old has set his sights on regaining the world road race title which he won for the first time in his career back in 2018.

Valverde's best finish at the Tour de France came when he placed third in 2015 (PA Images)

And now Valverde has confirmed he will line up for the postponed Tour at the end of August for the ninth year in a row as he looks to peak for the worlds at the end of September.

Speaking at a video press conference on Wednesday, he said: "Usually, I come out of the Tour with very good form, you ease back a little, go for a few walks and then it's onto San Sebastian, which has been ideal for me in the past. But this time, it'll be onto the Worlds.

"The objective this year was to do the Tour thinking about Tokyo but now, with no Olympics, that'll work for the Worlds - this way, by preparing for the Tour, you can kill two birds with one stone."

The men’s road race at the world championships will take place just seven days after the conclusion of the Tour, meaning there will be little turn around for the likes of Valverde who are striving for success in both.

And while the Movistar rider is optimistic about his chances of doing something big in 2020, he is also aware of the uniqueness of this year’s cycling calendar due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I feel like I usually do at this time of year, going out in summer in good weather and in dry-weather kit is always great. My form feels like it should do, not like in December," he added.

"But it's going to be strange, this has never happened before, nobody knows if they'll have moments of weakness at the beginning, middle, or end of the Tour. What's definite is that we're all going to be feeling very motivated, whether we're domestiques or team leaders."

Valverde’s Movistar Team has lost a couple of potential leaders this season in Mikel Landa and two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana.

However, the Spaniard could still find himself playing second in command as young talent Enric Mas joins the set-up at the age of just 25.

Mas broke onto the scene in 2018 when he finished second in the Vuelta Espana behind Britain’s Simon Yates.

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