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Memories from Le Tour: Alejandro Valverde

28 June 2018
Imagen de la noticia ‛Memories from Le Tour: Alejandro Valverde’

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A four-time stage winner in the ‘Grande Boucle’ and 3rd overall in 2015, ‘Bala’ is back at the start one year after his near-career-ending crash on stage 1 of the 2017 race – and ready to rock again.

ALEJANDRO VALVERDE PROFILE > Reaction, results prior to ‘Grande Boucle’ and pictures

– What the Tour means for him
“It’s the most important race in the world for every rider. From all stageraces, this is the most relevant, the most famous one. Winning the Tour must be amazing.”

– Earliest memories
“I remember the Val Louron stage, when Indurain got into the break as ‘Perico’ told him to go on the attack, then he won the stage and took the yellow jersey. I hold great memories from that day.”

– His first TDF
“It was incredible. The amount of media present, the enormous crowds, everything around this race – it really caught my attention, it was spectacular.”

– Courchevel
“It was a very special day for me. My legs felt great from the start of the stage and, as I saw Basso, Ullrich, Vinokourov dropping back while I stayed with Armstrong, Rasmussen and Mancebo in the lead, I realized I had a chance to win with my finishing speed. Armstrong jumped with 500 meters to go, trying to stay close to the barriers to not let me space and catch me by surprise, but I was able to measure my efforts well and beat him.”

– Plumelec
“It was spectacular. I didn’t even want to sprint that day, but Iván Gutiérrez told me to follow his wheel to the front of the bunch, because I had a chance. I trusted him, won the stage and put on the yellow jersey. You feel like the king of the world when you lead the Tour de France. Super happy. Wearing the jersey, even if it’s only for one day, is fantastic.”

– Peyragudes
“It was an unbelievable day. I was coming back to the Tour in 2012 after a year and a half’s stop. I suffered many crashes during that Tour, and it was my final chance to score a win. I attacked from afar, had good help into the break and was able to finish it off on my own. The GC group never took things easy, always went chasing us, and that made it even more valuable.”

– Paris podium (2015)
“It was like a victory for me. I always helped Nairo during that race, even risked my own podium for his chances by going on a long-range attack when he asked me to do so. When I got to the top of Alpe d’Huez and saw I was going to finish in 3rd, I couldn’t stop crying. It was massive redemption for me. I left so out of energy that I had fever a day later and was close to abandoning the race in the Champs-Élysées. I couldn’t really enjoy the feeling of being on the Paris podium.”

– Düsseldorf’s crash
“You go through happiness, sadness… but my worst moment was last year’s crash, barely 6km after taking the start into a Tour where I was feeling great. It’s over now – everyone has seen I’m doing great, and I’m happy to be back.”