Although a chest cold has forced Selle Italia sponsored Alejandro Valverde of Team Movistar to
end his 2012 season, his comeback year has been a big success after Valverde served a two-year sanction. Valverde was World championship bronze medalist Valkenberg to finish his season.
Valverde started 2012 by winning a stage at the Tour Down Under in January, then won two stages and the overall at the Ruta del Sol in February, and in March took a stage, third place overall and the points jersey at Paris-Nice. At the Tour de France Valverde won Stage 17 in the Pyrénées.
The 2012 Vuelta a España saw a last-minute start for the Movistar rider, who won two individual stages and he helped Movistar team win the team time trial as well as the overall team prize. Vuelta a España. Valverde finished second to Contador and won the points jersey at the Vuelta a España.
Valverde explained post-season “I am satisfied with my season. What was most important is that I was able to race at the same level as I did before,” he said recently. “The Tour didn’t go as planned, but the Vuelta more than made up for it. It’s a good season that we can build on for next year.”
Valverde is looking ahead to the World Championships next year, and with four career worlds medals (two silver and two bronze), he has hopes for the future. “The course in Italy (Firenze 2013) and Spain (Ponferrada 2014) are both well suited for me, so I hope to have a chance to be the outright leader for the Spanish team,” Valverde said. “Of course, the world title is something I would like. I have come close before.”