Valverde: “Sadness to leave with this great level”

An almost indescribable mix of emotions that Alejandro Valverde felt at the end of the Giro de Lombardía, which was his last race as a professional cyclist. The Murcian, at 42 years old, hangs up the bike with a commendable performance at the Italian Monument, where he finished in sixth position after competing with the best in the final section of the route.

“I am excited about the future; sadness, for leaving with this great level; and happiness, for the enormous work that the team has done today all day and being able to fight. Thanks to all my teammates and congratulations to Pogacar and Enric, who has achieved a great 2nd place and has been very, very good again. I am happy to have completed 21 years as a professional and enjoyed great things. Now we give way to young people, hoping that they also enjoy making this sport great”, the Murcian confessed to the media upon arrival at the finish line in Como, where he was the fastest in the group sprint that he played against runners like Mollema, Molard, Bardet, and Adam Yates.

Now, with a role yet to be defined, Valverde will continue in the ranks of a Movistar Team, which he leaves in good hands with a Mas that has emerged as a classic lover in these last Italian rounds of the calendar: “Enric Mas and I, until the end . 21 years as a professional, great moments… and now, to enjoy”. You’ve earned it, Bala.

More: “Very happy to be second in a Monument”

Enric Mas stood on the podium for the first time in his career in a Monument such as the Giro de Lombaría, the culmination of a sensational season finale for the Balearic Islands. This is how he summed up his impressions, with words of affection towards Valverde including his withdrawal: “I think that today we can leave very satisfied with this podium. It’s a sad day, because it’s Alejandro’s ‘The Last Bullet’, but it’s also a very happy day, because we finished second after Pogi in a Lombardy, in a Monument. Step by step we continue to grow and I am very happy about it. I gave everything in that sprint, but I had also tried everything both in Civiglio and in the last San Fermo. Pogacar has been very strong and I have had to settle for giving my best in the sprint, where it has been superior. I really like Lombardy, Liège, San Sebastián… I think I have the potential to fight for victory in one-day races of this type and in the coming years we will fight to add that Monument to the list of winners”.

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