Alejandro Valverde hasn’t been training too hard through lockdown, and it’s just as well, as the Spaniard has a stacked schedule planned out for the rest of the year.
The 40-year-old has made no attempt to hide his dislike of the indoor trainer, and has been spending the past months in lockdown saving his bullets as he anticipated a busy season to come. Now that the UCI has released its new calendar for 2020, the Movistar man will be pleased he took it easy through spring as he has lined up a busy three-month spell that will see him taking on Strade Bianche, Milano-Sanremo, Tour de France, world championships, Ardennes classics, and Vuelta a España.
Valverde is among the hundreds of Spanish pros that are returning to the road after waiting out six weeks of strict coronavirus lockdown measures. Meanwhile, riders in Switzerland, Belgium, and the UK have been free to clock up the miles on the open roads. Valverde is in no rush to play catch-up.
“This situation is strange for everyone and you do not know how your rivals are preparing,” Valverde told Eurosport. “I know that several colleagues have trained a lot on the rollers and that in the future may even be negative. I have trained on the rollers, but always in a measured way.”
“I am training with ease,” Valverde said. “There is a long time to compete and this year’s season is going to be very long so there is no point in being at the maximum right now. I focus on strength work and delaying the rest of things for later. This season is going to take so long that the fact of training too much now does not make much sense.”
Pros living in France, Spain, and Italy have been enduring some of the strictest lockdown measures in Europe. After a spring on the trainer and with just four weeks separating the start of the season and the Tour’s grand depart, those heading to France won’t have long to rediscover their race legs.
However, with two decades of racing in the bank, Valverde sees himself at an advantage over less experienced rivals.
‘That could be beneficial for me because I build form very quickly,” Valverde said when talking of the short build to the Tour.
“Over the years I notice that it costs me a little more, but it is possible that it benefits me,” he continued. “For example, Dumoulin said he needed to train at altitude for a long time to be at a good level. This year these circumstances are not going to be possible and they can help me make a good Tour de France.”
The world championships in Aigle-Martigny, Switzerland, come hot on the heels of the Tour, with the road race due to take place just a week after La Grand Boucle wraps up in Paris. Valverde likes what he sees in the punchy Swiss parcours.
“The route is very hard and motivates me a lot because it is very demanding and seems to be designed for climbers. As always, the idea is to fight for it 100 percent.”
Until the August 1 racing start approaches, it’s a case of tranquilo, tranquilo for Valverde.