The 2009 Vuelta a Espána winner Alejandro Valverde discusses this race in 2010 and plans for the Tour Down Under and Tour de France. The interview was part of the Sevilla presentation of the 2010 Vuelta a España.
What do you think about the course of the Vuelta 2010?
“Of course it will be necessary to analyze the stages one by one but at first sight it looks like a very nice one, very hard and for sure rich in emotions from the very beginning till the end since the first stage, a team time trial, is already a difficult challenge. Famous mountains and individual time trials make also part of the program. Moreover two stages will take place where I live, in Murcia, what will for sure represent an extra motivation for me.”
Will you be at the start in Sevilla?
“The season is very long and it will depend and it is too early to be sure. It will depend on how things go but of course I hope I will be there.”
The season 2009 was a wonderful one for you. In addition to winning important races which make part of the ProTour calendar like the Volta a Catalunya and the Critérium of the Dauphin? Lib?r?, you also won your first major Tour with the Vuelta a España. After a resting for some weeks and before starting 2010 how do you analyze chat you achieved during the season?
“It was an excellent season indeed. I started pretty well and it was better and better. I won more or less all the races in which I took part and it is for sure my best year on the bike. I believe that the most important point is the fact that I continue being better each year, with more significant wins.”
How did you spend your holidays?
“I took some holidays in Mexico because I travelled over there to race the Criterium of Cancun. When I came back to Spain I had many obligations so that I had little time left for other things. I spent more or less one month and a half without training even if I participated each week end in criteriums while practicing running and fitness during the week. Now I train regularly on the bike, almost every day, increasing progressively kilometers and rhythm.”
Will your program in 2010 be similar to that of 2009?
“Not exactly. I will start competing earlier than the previous years. I have the opportunity to go to Australia to take part in the Tour Down Under. I am really happy because I never travelled so far away till now. My team-mates who went there told me it is something really different and very interesting. I am really pleased to go also because we are sure to train and race in a sunny weather. ”
Will you go and see the course of the World Championship?
“I don’t know. We did not talk about that till now. I imagine it will depend on the distance between both cities. But as far as I was told the course is not a hard one so that it is not really important to know him a long time in advance. But if it is possible to go we will surely do it!”
Which will be your program when you come back from Australia?
“My calendar is not definitive yet but normally I will race the Challenge of Mallorca, the Tour of Algarve, Paris-Nice, the Volta a Catalunya, the Tour of the Basque Country and the Classics before resting for some weeks and coming back later in the Dauphin? Lib?r?.”
What will be the main objective of the season?
“The Tour de France! It is certainly the most difficult race in the world but the fact I won the Vuelta is the proof that I am able of winning a major tour and most of all to resist during three weeks, which was not sure till then. To defeat Alberto Contador will not be easy because he showed he was really the best in the last editions but we are just human beings and Alberto like me like any other rider can have a bad so that everything is possible.”
Something very special will happen in your life within a few weeks?
“Yes indeed! I am so happy because my third son will be born at the end of January. I just hope he will wait I am back from Australia before his birth!”
A wish for 2010?
“To be healthy and lucky. And of course to win the Tour!”
Source: Team Caisse d’Epargne