Spanish legend of cycling rides on
'Bala' adds two further seasons to current contract with Eusebio Unzué's squad, will reach 39 years old -17 seasons as pro- with the same team he's defended since joining in 2005
The Movistar Team confirms on Thursday that Alejandro Valverde (Las Lumbreras, ESP; 1980) has re-signed with the telephone squad for an additional two seasons, 2018 and 2019, following the end of his previous contract, expiring after 2017.
Nicknamed 'El Imbatido' ('The Unbeaten One') or, simply and affectionately, 'Bala' ('Bullet'), Valverde means everything to Eusebio Unzué's squad, an everlasting, brilliant light in all races he takes part in. Arguably the best all-round, most consistent rider the national peloton has even known, and an unmissable reference in the WorldTour peloton for nearly a decade and a half, his palmarès (97 wins) is as eternal as his figure, rated in terms and numbers -74 victories with the Abarca Sports structure, a record only beaten by Miguel Indurain- difficult to achieve for any other rider.
Four WorldTour individual titles, one Vuelta a España GC win, podium finishes in both the Giro and the Tour, three Liège-Bastogne-Liège, four Flèches Wallonnes, two Clásicas de San Sebastián, two Critériums du Dauphiné or four Vueltas a Andalucía highlight Valverde's immense abilities. The man from Murcia joined the current Movistar Team in 2005, and will have completed no less than 14 years by Unzué's side at the end of his new term (he'll be 39 in 2019, a 17-year pro by then). Yet, his significance inside the team, as a humble and respectable human being, is way above those impressive numbers.