No Tour de France swan song for Alejandro Valverde in 2022

Movistar captain confirms he will race the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España and return to the Ardennes classics in final season.

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Alejandro Valverde won’t be racing the Tour de France in his final swan song season in 2022.

The Spanish veteran, who will be 42 next season, confirmed that a return trip to the Tour in his final season will not be in the cards.

Instead, Valverde confirmed to Spanish media he will race both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España next year.

“I tell you with full confidence, at 100 percent, that next season will be my last as a cyclist,” Valverde told Radiogaceta de los Deportes. “Even though at 42 my level is still good, after 21 years racing, what more do I want? My time has come.”

The Movistar Team captain will also return to familiar targets, such as the Ardennes classics, where he will be looking for a sixth victory at Flèche Wallonne and what could be a record-tying fifth victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Last month, Valverde confirmed the 2022 season would be his last. After crashing out of the 2021 Vuelta a España with a broken clavicle, he bounced back to win a race in Italy.

“There’s no point in going on any longer,” said Valverde last month. “I want to enjoy my last season as a pro.”

Valverde will return to the Giro for only the second time in his career. He raced it in 2016, where he hit the podium with third overall, enough to give him podiums in all three grand tours.

The Vuelta will serve as a three-week long goodbye in front of national fans. It’s not yet confirmed if he will race the worlds, set for Australia in 2023 on a sprinter-favored course.