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The Spanish participation suffers without Alejandro Valverde and with the injuries


EFE · Road Competition · 03/21/2023

The three-time winner of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and the great referent of Spanish cycling in recent times, Murcia cyclist Alejandro Valverde, has left a void after his retirement in races such as the Catalan one, one of his favourites, which in this edition has seen how no Spanish cyclist is among the candidates for the final victory.

In addition, the three cyclists destined to fill his void are also not in this Tour of Catalonia, which began on Monday in the Costa Brava. Juan Ayuso (UAE Emirates), ranked fifth in 2022, and Carlos Rodrguez (Ineos Grenadiers) have not been able to participate due to physical problems, while Enric Mas (Movistar) did not have it on his calendar.

But this does not mean that there are no level names so that some Spanish cyclist can fight for a stage triumph in the high mountain that begins this Tuesday at the ski resort of Vallter (Girona) and even for try to get on the final podium.

One of them is that of Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious), who has not run the Tour since 2017 and who last year was third overall in the Giro d’Italia.

“The stellar participation increases the level of demand for everyone. The route is very beautiful and I hope to have a good race”, explained Landa to the media after the check of signatures.

In addition, when asked which of the three top finishes of this Tour is the best, the cyclist from Murgia admits that the one he likes the most “is Lo Port”, the end of the fifth stage.

Landa returns to the Volta in a quieter start to the season than usual for the reason that he will not participate in the Giro this year. “I will be able to dedicate myself to other races that I like to compete in,” he said.

Another name to keep in mind from the Spanish driver is that of the Catalan Marc Soler (UAE Emirates), third in the 2017 Tour.

“My challenge is to give my best, to see where I can be and help my teammates,” he explained before starting the second stage in Matar (Barcelona).

His freedom in this Tour can be seen favored by the fall in the first stage of Adam Yates, one of the leaders of the UAE Emirates, which led him to arrive more than 10 minutes behind Primoz Roglic and Remco Evenepoel.

“I see myself with legs to try to hold out as much as possible on today’s climb to Vallter and then see what happens”, said the one from Vilanova i la Geltr.

Carlos Verona is the leader of the ranks in this Tour of Movistar, which was the team of Alejandro Valverde. “We don’t have such a clear leader, but we have strong people,” considered the 30-year-old cyclist.

And, in this sense, he added: “It will be a surprise if Roglic or Evenepoel don’t win the Tour, but not by much. There is a lot of level in this Tour.”

And there are even more names that can bring joy to Spanish cycling on Catalan roads. David de la Cruz (Astan), who on Thursday enjoyed the arrival of the Tour in his hometown, Sabadell (Girona), explained “that in Vallter you will see the first differences” and that he hopes “to be in the front group and have options to make a good general”.

In any case, he admits that he is most attracted to the end of this Wednesday’s stage, at the ski resort of La Molina (Girona). “Vallter is a port that has always given me a lot of respect, it’s incredibly tough, much more than it looks on the profile,” he explained.

“I expect a quick climb to Vallter, the wind will be in my favor and Jumbo-Visma will set a high pace from the start,” he added.

Among the cyclists in the test, there are 10 Catalans who play at home. In addition to the already mentioned Marc Soler and David de la Creu, another is Marc Brustenga (Trek-Segafredo), from Santa Eullia de Ronana.

Brustenga studied and rehearsed yesterday’s uphill finish in Sant Feliu de Guxols (Girona), ideal for its characteristics. But he ended up in the second group, 10 seconds behind the first, caused by the cut that occurred 5 kilometers from the finish line due to a multiple.

“I’m doing well in this Tour, although last week I went to run some classics and I’m leaving,” he explained.

It is his second participation in the Tour of Catalonia. “You learn a lot from the first one and from my whole first year as a professional. I think I will enjoy this edition more,” said Brustenga.

It seems viewers will too. At least, this is the feeling after the dissimulation that Roglic and Evenepoel showed already on the first day.

Sergi Escudero

EFE – EFE Agency – All rights reserved. All types of reproduction without written authorization from lagncia EFE S/A are prohibited.

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85 COMMENTS

  1. I cant find the exact article you mentioned, but heres a random opinion for you: Without Valverde, Spains chances are as unpredictable as a llama on roller skates.

    • Well, not everyone is mourning Valverdes absence. There are plenty of fans who are excited to see new talents and fresh competition. The race goes on, and its time for others to shine.

  2. Title: Spanish Cycling Team – Valverdes Absence: Blessing in Disguise or Dire Consequence?

    Comment: Well, well, well… without Valverde, maybe the Spanish team will finally surprise us! Bring it on!

  3. Yeah, injuries suck, but lets not forget the lackluster performance by the entire Spanish team. Valverdes absence alone didnt determine their fate. They need to step up their game and stop making excuses. #OwnUpToIt

  4. I cant find the exact article you mentioned, but heres a random opinion:

    Man, injuries suck! Spain needs Valverde to dominate the competition. #ComeBackStrong

    • Actually, injuries are a part of the game. Spain has a strong team overall, so they shouldnt rely solely on Valverde. Its an opportunity for others to step up and show their worth. #TeamEffort

    • Valverdes absence might be a disappointment for some, but lets not forget that football is a team sport. Spain has plenty of talented players who can step up and make a difference. Its time for someone else to shine and show their magic on the field!

  5. I cant seem to find the specific article you mentioned, but heres an opinion:

    Man, injuries can really mess up a teams chances! Valverdes absence is a bummer.

    • Well, its not like Spains success in cycling solely relies on one person. Valverde may be out, but there are other talented cyclists who can step up. Lets not underestimate the teams strength and determination.

  6. I cant fully understand what youre asking for, but heres a random and unpredictable comment:

    Who needs Valverde when we have the power of paella? Vamos España!

    • Im sorry, but Im not sure what youre trying to convey with your comment. It seems unrelated to the original discussion. Can you please provide more context or clarify your point? Thank you.

    • Who needs Valverde when Spain has a strong team full of talented riders? Its time for new faces to shine and show what theyre made of. The future of Spanish cycling doesnt rely solely on one person. #NewBlood #TeamSpain

    • Well, anyone who understands the importance of a solid coach would have seen it coming. Valverdes absence has definitely had a significant impact on Spains performance. Its not rocket science, mate.

  7. Well, I gotta say, without Valverde, Spains chances are about as reliable as my WiFi connection. #BringBackAlejandro

  8. I cant find the specific article you mentioned, but heres an opinion on Spanish participation in general:

    Without Valverde and the injuries, Spanish team needs some flamenco power to spice things up!

  9. Hey, I get where youre coming from, but lets be real. Valverdes absence is definitely not a blessing in disguise. Hes a seasoned rider with tons of experience. We need all the talent we can get for the Spanish team. #ValverdeFan

  10. I cant believe Spains luck in the cycling world! Valverdes absence and injuries are just brutal. #BringOnTheUnexpected

  11. I cant provide an opinion based on an article that I havent read. However, if Alejandro Valverdes absence affected the Spanish participation negatively, injuries are definitely a bummer.

  12. I cant believe Valverdes absence ruined the Spanish team! Who saw that coming?! #CrazyWorld #Unpredictable

    • Well, its not like Valverde was the sole reason Spain didnt perform well. Its a team sport, after all. Blaming one players absence for the whole outcome seems a bit far-fetched. Lets not overlook the bigger picture here. #TeamEffort #KeepItReal

    • Oh please, spare me the drama! The Spanish team has plenty of talent besides Valverde. Its like saying paella without saffron is tasteless, when in fact, its the combination of flavors that make it delicious. #TeamSpain

    • Come on, dont exaggerate! Valverde is just one player, not the entire team. Spain has plenty of talented players who can step up and shine. Its time to embrace change and give others a chance to prove themselves.

  13. Man, Valverdes absence really messed up the Spanish team! Injuries? Just cruel luck or maybe something more sinister?

    • Who cares about Valverde? Injuries are part of the game, deal with it! There are still plenty of other talented riders out there. Stop whining and enjoy the race!

  14. Honestly, Valverdes absence is like missing the jamón from a paella. It just doesnt feel right. #SpanishCyclingDrained

  15. Man, Valverdes absence really messed up the Spanish team. Injuries are just adding insult to injury! #TeamSpainStruggles

    • Actually, I think the Spanish team is doing just fine without Valverde. Its not about one player, its about the collective effort of the team. So lets not undermine their talent and determination based on one absence. #TeamSpain

  16. Man, Valverdes absence really hit Spain hard in the competition! Cant deny the impact injuries had on their performance.

  17. Title: Valverdes absence dampens Spanish participation, but injuries add to the woes

    Comment: Man, its a bummer that Valverde isnt racing. And injuries? Seriously, lady luck needs a chill pill!

  18. I cant find the specific article you mentioned, but heres a random and unpredictable comment:

    Valverdes absences give other riders a chance to shine. Lets embrace the chaos!

Comments are closed.