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Valverde still plays supporting role at Movistar

Disgraced Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde has been out training with his Movistar teammates in Majorca while he serves a ban for doping.

Disgraced Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde has been out training with his Movistar teammates in Majorca while he serves a ban for doping.

The 30-year-old — winner of the 2009 Vuelta a España — was suspended last May by the the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) till the end of the 2011 season for his role in the Puerto doping scandal.

Valverde, who formerly rode as a member of Caisse d’Epargne, said in a statement issued Wednesday that the ban had not demoralized him and he has been training hard with his teammates.

“Despite being prevented from competing for so many months, I am still at a good level, practically the same as this time last year,” said Valverde, who was crowned overall ProTour champion on two occasions.

“I have been training really hard since October. I then took 25 days to rest up before returning to the gym, running and mountain biking.

“In short, I have been doing a little bit of everything so I don’t lose the dynamic of preceding years.”

Valverde, winner of several classics including the Liege-Bastogne-Liege twice, said that it was vital to keep really fit so he was well prepared for his competitive return.

“What counts is that I don’t lose the rhythm and to be prepared as well as possible for my return to competition,” he said.