As always with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, everything in cycling in terms of timing depends on a favorable scenario that continues to develop in the coming weeks and months.But assuming this to be the case, Valverde compared the current position of the 2020 UCI Road World Championships, arriving a week after the Tour de France, as being similar to the usual place of Clásica San Sebastian on the first Saturday after the Tour .
“Usually I leave the Tour in very good shape, you relax a bit, take a few walks and then it’s towards San Sebastian, which has been ideal for me in the past,” Valverde told a press release. by video. conference Wednesday evening.
“But this time, it will be at the Worlds. “
Tenth in San Sebastian last year, after finishing ninth in the Tour de France, Valverde won the biggest one-day Spanish Classic in 2008 and 2014, as well as the World Cup in 2018.
Originally aimed at participating in the Olympic Games, the suspension of the Tokyo Games has now put an end to rumors that it could even withdraw from the Tour at mid-race. Instead, he will go to Paris in the Tour.
“The goal this year was to do the Tour with Tokyo in mind, but now, without the Olympics, it will work for the Worlds – that way, by preparing for the Tour, you can kill two birds with one stone”, said Valverde.
At the same press conference, team manager Eusebio Unzue confirmed that Valverde and Enric Mas will co-lead Movistar at the Vuelta a España and the Tour de France. He also said that Marc Soler will lead Movistar at the Giro d’Italia, conducting a Grand Tour for the first time in his career.
Valverde will also take part in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a monument he has won four times. However, Valverde stressed that “with such a busy schedule, it will be difficult to do more.”
After spending most of the Spanish containment underway at home in Murcia, Valverde said the year had been very different. “Things started as usual, but no one knows how their bodies will react to such a long time without running,” he said.
On the positive side, he said his shape is where it normally is at this time of year. “I feel like I usually do at this time of year, going out in the summer in good weather and in a kit in dry weather is always great. My form seems to me like it should do, not like in December.
“But it’s going to be strange, it has never happened before, no one knows if they will have moments of weakness at the start, in the middle or at the end of the Tour. What is certain is that we will all feel very motivated, whether we are domestic servants or team leaders. “
Regarding rumors that Chris Froome (Ineos) could have joined Movistar with a mid-season transfer, Valverde said that even if a pilot of Froome’s caliber would be welcome, it probably wouldn’t happen.
“All of us in the cycling world knew it would be very difficult for this to happen. It ended up being an anecdote. “
He was also in good spirits but without commitment to the idea of having to race against Nairo Quintana, his former teammate for eight seasons before signing for Arkea-Samsic. ” [It would be] an honor, each of us will fight for our own chances and that’s it, “he said.
Regarding the current make-up of Movistar, rather than a hypothetical or a previous one, Unzue also confirmed that its three leaders will participate in the team’s first race after the lockout, the four-day Vuelta a Burgos in Spain which will begin on July 28. .
The three will then do the Critérium du Dauphiné, before Soler heads for Tirreno-Adriatico and the Giro, while Valverde and Mas await the start of the Tour de France in Nice at the end of August.
Overall, the team, divided into three groups, aims to run a total of 120 days in 2020, said Unzue, 98 of them at the WorldTour level.
“At first it was very strange when the lockdown started, and it lasted much longer than we thought, but I am very keen to resume the race. I feel like I’m 30 again, “said Valverde.
As to whether Valverde will continue to run beyond his proposed retirement in 2021, given the events of 2020, the Spanish veteran said he had no idea – yet. But he did not dismiss the idea.
“Ask Eusebio if he wants to sign me longer! Said Valverde with a smile. “It’s true that I said to myself during this lockout period,” hey, I could go on. “
“But I have a contract for another year, until the end of 2021, so let’s move on this year and see what happens next. “