Thursday, 7 February 2013

La Marmotte

Lance Armstrong doping scandal is one of those events that cracks our narrow minds apart and sends a great wave of perspective flushing through our thoughts.  

It may be coincidence, or it may be an impending sense of Armageddon tweaking at the guts of media producers with timely disease, but there seems to be a glut of excellent stuff out there at the moment for those inclined towards interrogating Big Questions about cycling and its validity.  

I don't question the sport's raison d'être, and one man's deceitful actions is not going to tarnish the years of devotion and admiration I have for all those who practice it. For me cycling is a personal  conquest and journey and is best done when you're lonely. It's just you and your bike, and one of the things I appreciate the most about this hike is that you turn out to be very good if you train hard enough dude!. The magic is called determination and hard work and I hope you will forgive a personal story about how I learned this a few years ago.  

First let me say my favorite decade of cycling is the 80’s. I remember fondly the epic rides of the likes of Indurain, Hinault, Le Mond, Delgado, and Herrera cruising through the massive, brutal, lactic-enhancing mountains of the Pyrenees and the Alps. I remember like if it was yesterday the day Herrera won the stage of Alpe d'Huez at the 1984 Tour de France.

I was at school and teachers gathered all students in the main event hall to watch it live. Tiers were all around, arms hugging strangers, cheers from the unusual foe and unusual hurrays from the usual introvert. All holding hands with the pride only a compatriot winning the toughest cycling stage in the world could give. Then, believe it or not,  I made a promise to myself: I would someday climb this extraordinary mountain. Seriously!


Now fast forward 26 years and there I was on my black and white Orbea, the one I have built just for this monumental occasion. A dark bull-like fiber-carbon bike that resembles the one Samuel Sanchez used to win gold at the Shanghai Olympics. I was doing La Marmotte, an annual, one-day summer event in France for amateur cyclists.  

In short, it covers a distance of 174 km (108 mi) and the route is considered the hardest of any cyclosportive in the world and crosses over several famous Tour de France mountains like the Col du Glandon, Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier and the final ascent is the colossal and monumental, the same one I had promised as kid that I would climb someday, the legendary Alpe d'Huez.

I had arrived two days before and stayed in a small delightful hotel in the valley of the Alps with gorgeous views of the mountains. Parked the car on the side of the rode next to the hotel, took the unassembled parts of my bike from the trunk and started putting them back together.

Meanwhile, one by one my club-mates started to arrive. I can see the Lawyer, the Banker and the Marketing guy together after driven for more than 10 hours from London. We all have one thing in common, and I guess it is a prerequisite for being a cyclist, we would do things that a normal person would find crazy. Yet we were not normal, we were passionate about a sport whose only rewards are pain, sometimes satisfaction, and extraordinary sites.

We were 10 in total. All with very diverse backgrounds and personalities. I roomed with a 40 year old stock broker and a Scot from Glasgow in his early 30s. The Broker had done the Marmotte successfully a few years before so I concluded that if this guy was able to finish it, I for sure had a chance to do as well. Knowing that I was 6 years younger than him gave me a most welcomed sense of tranquility. I was desperately trying to calm all my insecurities and clinch to any type of hope I could get.

The Scot looked very strong. You can always tell how powerful a cyclist is by the veins in his legs. The bigger and the more out-there and protuberant they are the stronger he is. If you combine that with slender arms and fluid pedal stroke you have found yourself a genuine phenomenon.

I woke up the next morning and I can’t remember how I ended up going for a ride with Christian and Richard. I’ve met them before in a club-ride and of the group they were the ones I knew best. Besides, I estimated both were at my same fitness level. Well, in truth I knew I was stronger than Christian, after all he weighted at least 10 kg more than me, and in cycling that is a huge disadvantage in the big mountains.

The history with Richard is a bit different. I've met him at my first club ride. He was a quiet 28 year old guy from Surrey. We were similar in many respects but back then my strength was at its lowest point. Needless to say, I was struggling to keep up with the group’s pace and by the middle of the ride I was dropped. I found myself riding back home alone and devastated.

However, after a few months of hard training on my own I met Richard again on a ride and I was much better. I managed to stay with him yet never left his back wheel. In cycling the person that is in front spends at least 30% more energy that the one that is sucking his wheel, and that was me that day, a total wheel sucker. It was encouraging but I knew I needed to work harder.


Now lets go back to that morning Richard, Christian and I set to climb the Alpe d’Huez. Just thinking about it now gives me goosebumps. I’ve grown up dreaming with this moment and was the biggest challenge of my life so far.

There are 21 hairpin curves in total and here I was climbing to the first one. I didn’t want to overcook myself on the first hairpin and not being able to finish. That would have been a disaster. How I was going to have the courage to climb the four most colossal passes of the Alps if I could not even finish the one that on paper looked the more manageable? 

First hairpin done and I was feeling good. My club-mates still with me and we were chatting amiably. By the 9th I could see that Christian was falling behind and this is what I was expecting. Richard and I were still going strong. We were exchanging the lead so my confidence was growing. Whenever I felt my strength was abandon me I found myself another gear. I could tell now that all those sacrifices and hours of training had paid off. After all, just about a few months ago I was really struggling to keep up and look at me now leading Richard to the top of Alpe d'Huez!

We crossed the finish-line together with Christian a few kilometers behind. This was a great moment for me. Not only my legs had responded, but they were craving for more. I was not feeling tired. It was a tough climb but I had built so high expectations that I trained compulsively, voraciously, in a glassy trance from which I emerge only faintly aware of what I've just experienced, like a compulsive binger who stares around at the empty Pringle pots in surprise.

So I descended and did it again. Richard and Christian decided not to go with me. This second time I wanted to do it at my own pace as I would most probably do at the Marmotte. Men, honestly, it was a joy.

Two days later Saturday arrived. I woke up around 5 in the morning, or lets say I got out of the bed at this time. Like with every important event in my life, I was not able to sleep well. I stare blankly into space trying to remember every single think I needed to remember, and while I always try to blame it on inexperience, I know the real culprit is my propensity to gobble thoughts like Lindor truffles.

The Scot woke up too and started doing his daily routines. He had brought with him a rolling foam that he used to stretch. The Broker was also ready. We wish all good luck and went out for breakfast. Some of the guys were already at the table. We were all very quiet. Not much talking going on. Strange since last night at dinner we were all cheers and laughing, and now all of a sudden we looked as if we were about to have heart surgery.

After breakfast we all got on our bikes and went downhill from our hotel to the start of the race. It was at a small French town called Le Bourg-d'Oisans on the road from Grenoble to Briancon. A beautiful place that sits at the base of Alpe d'Huez and at which we had to return later on to start the climb to the finish line. This town breaths cycling all around.

I have packed the night before plenty of nibbles to keep me fed until the first feeding station. Food and water are crucial. You may have trained very hard but if you run out of them you are done. Your body burns lots of calories in this type of races (5000 to 9000 in total), so you have to keep replacing them. Think about it: one banana gives you 100 calories... that's a lot of bananas!

However, this added an undesirable extra weight and I was a bit concern about it. My back pockets were full, I had a jacket for the descents and two full bottles, one with water and the other with Gatorade. I thought that perhaps I was being too cautious. I have lost 8 kg in preparation for this race and now I was putting them all back carrying all this stuff. Nothing to do now I said, this comes with being an amateur.

There were more than 7000 cyclist around me. Yes, that many. All with a confident and presumptuous “I’m gonna kill you” intimidating look. I tried to focus and not worry much about them. I knew I had trained hard and I was in a very good physical condition but the giggles were there. I had done rides before, and felt very good at all of them, but this was a huge challenge for me. A totally different monster.  “just do it man”, I said.


The race started and the good vibes I felt at Alpe d'Huez were still there. My legs were responding as I expected. The first climb was Col du Glandon. A very steep and long climb. I climb it cautiously. The peloton was packed and compact. I hardly passed anybody and focused on thoroughly evaluating how my legs felt. I wanted to find my rhythm, a cadence that would get me through this mountain in a good position but not too tired so that I would pay the price later on.  

I did many tests with different speeds and different gears and after about 30 minutes into the climb I started to feel real good. The peloton had stretched and I found more space to maneuver. I began to admire the scenery and enjoy the great weather. I could not wish for a prettier summer morning. The mountain was covered by ravishing savage red flowers. In the distance I could see the Alps in all its splendor with magical snow cover tops and small lake surroundings. I looked at the front and back and saw a river of cyclists, all with different colors jerseys, mingling with the landscape. A mental picture I have never forgotten.  

All of them have taken months of preparation for this moment and I thought about all the sacrifices they must had made. I thought of their families too. Something like this has to be a family goal. I thought of my wife and how thankful I was for her allowing me to take this year off to prepare properly. The fact that I was now climbing for more than one hour and was feeling great was due in part to her understanding and support. Thanks darling!

I was in cruising mode not making unnecessary efforts until the last kilometer to the top when I saw the Scot. He was about 200 meters ahead. I was surprised to see him and felt encourage to try to catch him. My confidence grew since I expected him to be far away by now. I figured that it would be great to team up with him in the descend and later on the only long flat section of the course that happened to be right after Glandon. 

With every pedal stroke I felt stronger, not only because I knew I could maintain this pace comfortably but because I kept seeing the Scot closer and closer. Come on! About to reach the top of the Glandon I caught him and stuck my wheel to his and we made the descent together. I knew he was an expert (the day before he showed me a video of him descending the Galibier at 90km/hr) so I just needed to follow him.

When we reach the bottom we decided to collaborate and soon caught a small group to do the flat section. The plan here was to save as much energy as I could. I knew I could lead the group, I felt strong, but I was not going to burn any of my matches this early in the race. The Scot was confident and led the group a couple of times (be my guest). I thought I should try to stay with him as much as I could because certainly he was going to drop me when we arrive to the Telegraph. So that is what I did, I tagged to him like glue and mimic his cadence. If he changed gears I did the same. When he stepped on the pedals I followed.  

When we started the ascent to the top of the Telegraph, we were climbing side by side. Then something incredible happened. He cracked! He said to me that we were going too fast and that if we continued this way we were going to pay the price later on. But the great thing is that I was going a the pace I would normally go while training on the hills back in London (who's your daddy?). 12km/hr was the magic number I have learned. I was sure that if I maintained this speed, and kept my heart-rate within normal limits, I was going to make it to the end fine.  

For some reason I felt very good at the Telegraph. I was spinning the pedals with ease, going out of the saddle and then sitting back effortlessly. It was like this mountain was tailored-made for me (I'm gonna name my first kid Telegraph). I had no trouble maintaining the 12 km/h speed and I did most of the climb at 15. I could have gone even faster but I was cautious not to spend energy recklessly. Besides, others were falling behind and there was no reason to push harder.  

Not only the Scot was far back by now but one after another I started passing tens of cyclists including the rest of my club-mates. First it was the Lawyer and then Richard, who was not having a good day. I asked him about Christian and he told me he had crashed and retired on the descend of the Glandon. I felt bad for him but did not stay long. I needed to go on now that my legs were responding and knew they may catch me back if I run out fuel. Richard try staying close to my wheel but soon he also cracked.

A few kilometers further, I caught my two remaining club-mates, Banker and Marketing guy which were riding together. I gave them a friendly smile and kept moving forward. Stood up on the pedals, looked back and saw they were still sitting and looking very far by now. Life is good I thought.

At this point I knew I was the leader of the team for the first time and couldn’t be happier. I felt invincible and was grateful for being able to do this. I really new then that hard work paid’s off. I did not do the Marmotte to beat my club-mates or to be a leader, that was not in the plan, but passing them reassured me why I was there: To prove myself I could do it.

I reached the top of the Telegraph and then after a short descent I started going up the Galibier. All stories have a climax and this is it:  All the bliss and joy a felt going up the telegraph suddenly disappeared and turned into misery. Just as the Telegraph was my mountain, the Galibier was not my friend.

I can easily say I have not suffered as much in my life as in that excruciating hour that took me to get to the top. First, it is a horrible mountain. A dry, windy, flowerless desert looking monster. From start you can see the finish line, a big antenna on the top, and that is why psychologically it’s so painful. You wonder if the torture would ever end. You keep pedaling but the top doesn't seem to look closer. No matter how fast you try to go, you feel going backwards. Minutes go by, your legs burning in lactic acid, and that antenna looks further and further (please remind me not to go there again).

Also my magic number was all over the place. 12 km/h was impossible in this mountain. I climbed it at a never ending 8 km/h. My heart felt as if it was going to explode and my consolation was that everywhere I look I saw plenty of souls that seem to be having as tough time as I had. I know I was doing this for myself but there is nothing more discouraging than seeing everybody else passing around.  

Steadily I was finally reaching the top of Galibier and feeling much better (venga Julian, vamos!!). Perhaps because I knew this was the last unknown mountain to climb. So I said: "great! No more surprises from now on. Only Alpe d'Huez to go, I know that one." 

Until now everything was a big unknown to me. From the terrain to how my body was going to react. Until this moment I was saving as much energy as possible, perhaps too much, but it is understandable since my worst fear was running out of gas and being left alone to find my way back to the hotel. And it was a long walk.  

I finally reached the top and when I looked around the sight reminded me of the North Pole (not that I've been there). Gusty winds, everything covered with snow and extremely cold. I took the jacket from my back pocket and put it on. Eat one power bar, sipped some water, took a deep breath and thanked god it was over.  


Next I went downhill and needless to say, by law of gravity, if you climb a very steep mountain chances are the descent is going to be very fast, and it was. The kind where the worst thing you could to is to hit the brakes. At this speeds it would cause the bike to destabilize and most surely you will hit the ground, and believe me, the crash is not going to be pretty.

What you can do is called feathering and it's more an art than technique. You administer very minuscule touches to the brakes before each curve, and it's better if you do it with your back wheel brake so the handlebars don't get affected. Then at the curve you go flat out until the next one.  

I was monitoring my speedometer for nothing more than sheer pleasure. I saw first 50 km/h and I thought wow! I was going very fast. It wasn’t my personal best but was close enough. The descent was long-winded and with many turns that were extremely challenging, but I barely touched the brakes. I looked again and I saw 60. Wow! That's a new record per mua.

The interesting thing is that you can’t really feel the difference after you have past 50. I saw again the speedometer and I read 75km/hr and that was when I started to get a bit worried. Not because I was scared of the speed but because plenty of things come to your mind at this stage. All your insecurities start piling up. You think that at this speed there is no way back. Even if you hit the brakes as hard as you can your are not going to stop. So that is when you really have to start praying for no cars or loose dogs, an inconvenient flat tire or even the thought of doing something stupid like reaching you water-bottle.

Fortunately nothing bad happened and I reached the bottom safely. I quickly glanced the speedometer trying to check what had been my maximum speed and then it hit me: 83km/hr! I cannot tell you when I reached that and for how long, but it was there. Chapeau!

A few kilometers in the flat and I was finally at the base of Alpe d'Huez. The reason I was here in the first place. I was about to climb for one last time this beautiful mountain. I was tired but I knew I had enough energy left in the tank to climb it. One by one I started reaching each of the hairpins just as I have done two days before, but this time it was different. It was very emotional, not only because of the sense of achievement and that by now I knew I was going to make it, but because hundreds of people gathered along the way to cheer all cyclists to the top. It was glorious!


Nowadays I think back at the hours of training it took me to be in that position. The thought of doing 100 km now looks distant but riding 500 km a week in preparation paid off. I think about the smile in my face crossing the finish-line. I finished the Marmotte with an extraordinary time by all standards: 8hr and 16sec, and was the first in my club. I was for a day very good and outstanding at something I felt passionate about. I was for once the best I could be. I was the man!  

It was a day that I would cherish for the rest of my life. I saw the most beautiful landscapes, met wonderful people and understood what I was capable of doing. Most importantly, I learnt a lot about myself and realized how my body works (useful). I see now with different eyes the limits of the mind and know I can do almost anything with just some determination and hard work.

So if there’s one thing we need as winter fades away, as high school children get shot and disgraced heroes are stripped of their medals and the exhilaration of the summer olympics vanishes into bruised memory, it’s a reminder that magic can still be found in the world – even if that world is violent, unjust and unstable to its very core. The Marmotte is a good place to start.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

My favorite poem while cycling, Amazing!

Great read of Shelley's masterpiece.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Grande Alberto!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Movistar 2012 is ready

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Alejandro Valverde is back!!!







Interview in RTVE.es

"Puedo estar entre los mejores del Tour"

Alejandro Valverde

hola amigos! os saludo desde mallorca, con mal tiempo, pero bien abrigado y dispuesto a responder a todas vuestras preguntas.

Javier Labrado (Madrid)

Alejandro, estamos de enhorabuena con tu vuelta. Imagino que tienes un sueño deportivo que quires cumplir, una fantasía que aparece de forma recurrente mientras estás despierto, algo que te emociona con solo pensarlo. Ahora que has vuelto después de lo que has pasado, me encantaría que lo hicieras real. ¿Cuál es ese sueño? Un abrazo

Alejandro Valverde

¿Un sueño deportivo? Me gustaría sobre todo poder ganar un Tour o un Mundial. ¿Si me tuviera que quedar con uno? El Tour.

Xavier Carreras (Bordils)

Hola Alejandro, primero enhorabuena por tu primera victoria de la temporada en Australia.
Mi pregunta es: Te ves capacitado para poder vencer a phillipe Gilbert en alguna de las classicas de primavera? Y crees que es vencible? visto lo que gano el año pasado. Gracias!

Alejandro Valverde

Está claro que si es el Gilbert del año pasado, va a ser difícil. Pero lo vamos a intentar para demostrar que es batible.

Álvaro Ortiz (Granada)

¿Vas a probar el año que viene a participar por primera vez en el Giro de Italia?

Alejandro Valverde

De momento, no he hablado nada con Eusebio de los planes del próximo año. Vamos a centrarnos en éste, que todavía queda toda la temporada. En un futuro, sí que me gustaría correrlo porque nunca he tenido oportunidad.

Álvaro Ortiz ( http://valverdefans.blogspot.com/ )

¿Qué te haría más feliz: un podio en el Tour o llevar el maillot arcoiris durante todo un año?

Alejandro Valverde

Si es un podio, depende en qué escalón. Si es el primero, me quedo con el Tour; pero si es segundo o tercero, prefiero ser campeón del Mundo.

Miguel Betanzos

Despues de su sancion, la UCI no le otorga puntos en los proximos dos años, sus victorias, aunque vistosas para el patrocinador, podrian no ser utiles para mantener la categoria Protour del equipo.¿ Estaria dispuesto Alejandro a trabajar en favor de otros corredores del equipo como Cobo, Arroyo... para conseguir triunfos que puedan dar puntos al equipo?

Alejandro Valverde

Eso es un tema más de los directores y yo voy a hacer lo que digan. Yo siempre estoy dispuesto a lo que necesite el equipo. Ya me ha tocado muchas veces trabajar para los compañeros. Al margen de puntos o no puntos, estoy encantado de echar una mano a los compañeros como ellos lo hacen conmigo.

Miguel Santos Salamanca

¿Alejandro te has marcado ya alguna etapa del Tour? ¿Cual y Por qué ? Gracias

Alejandro Valverde

De momento, no. Cuando estemos más cerca, analizaremos etapas, recorridos y veremos cuáles me vienen mejor. Hasta ahora, sólo he visto el trazado muy por encima. Prefiero ir carrera a carrera.

Bernardo,santa perpetua de la moguda

¿Cual es el calendario que has planificado esta temporada?.¿Que grandes vas a correr,tour de france,giro o vuelta?
Sigo pensando que te han quitado dos años de tu carrera injustamente,Animo campeon

Alejandro Valverde

Muchas gracias. Marcando un poco las grandes, la que en principio es segura es el Tour y dejando un poco en incógnita la Vuelta. Y ahora al inicio, Andalucía, Paris-Niza, Catalunya y País Vasco y las clásicas antes de descansar pensando en el Tour.

Juan Manuel. HARO

Hola Fenomeno:
Supongo que estaras satisfecho con tu victoria en el tour dun ander despues de no haber competido durante dos años? ¿ Cuales son tus proximos objetivos?

adios crack y espero que tengas un buen año lleno de victorias.

Saludos desde Haro La Rioja.

Alejandro Valverde

Gracias a tí. Sí, estoy muy contento de ese triunfo porque fue muy especial para mí. ¿Próximos objetivos? Quizás Paris-Niza, aunque hay que ver como llego, y las clásicas, que siempre se me han dado bien y que me gustan mucho.

Adrián García Quintanilla Oviedo

¿Cómo te sientes sabiendo que personas como yo han creído en ti desde el primer momento?

Alejandro Valverde

Sobre todo contento de ver que hay mucha gente que confía en mí y que siguen haciéndolo. Eso es lo que me ha ayudado durante estos meses para seguir trabajando. ¡Gracias!

dani -Puertollano

Estimado Alejandro ¿Consideras que uno de los mayores rivales está junto a ti (Juanjo)? ¿Consideras qué ello podría ser un problema para el equipo de cara a las grandes vueltas?

Alejandro Valverde

No, para nada. Creo que más vale tenerlo de compañero que de rival. Llegará el momento de que lleguen las grandes vueltas y seguro que nos vamos a entender a la perfección. Ya nos conocemos porque compartimos equipo y nos llevamos fenomenal. No va a haber ningún problema.

Oliver (Barcelona)

Temes que la sombra de la sospecha desluzca tus futuros triunfos?

Alejandro Valverde

Ni mucho menos. He ganado carreras siempre, no sólo desde que llegué a profesionales. Y después de estos dos años de parón, en la primera oportunidad, he vuelto a ganar. Creo que eso quiere decir algo.

JOAQUÍN

AL FINAL DE TEMPORADA, DESPUÉS DE HABER HECHO UN MAGNÍFICO AÑO, ESTOY SEGURO DE ELLO, TE ANIMARÁS A IR A LA PISTA CON LA SELECCIÓN MURCIANA?

Alejandro Valverde

Por animarme sí, claro que me gustaría ayudar a la selección de mi tierra. Pero no es cuestión mía, sino que me debo a un equipo. Desde mi primer año amateur no he vuelto a la pista. Sí que hay modalidades que me gustan como la persecución, pero de momento es algo que no entra en mis planes.

guillermo laluenga huesca

Alejandro Valverde eres un luchador y eso lo sabemos todos por eso te digo que eres mi corredor favorito del peloton. Haber este año que tienes pensado correr y que te pones como meta? Y luego, que te gustaria ganar mas este año la medalla de oro de Londres o el Tour?

Alejandro Valverde

Muchas gracias. Como meta me pongo el Tour, está claro, aunque sea complicado. Si tuviera que elegir, me quedaría con el Tour, pero sin quitar ningún prestigio a los Juegos Olímpicos, porque conseguir un oro está al alcance de muy pocos y dura cuatro años.

Pablo Castillo (Granada)

Hola Alejandro, tengo 13 años, y eres mi corredor favorito. Quería preguntarte varias preguntas. 1.-¿Te ves mejor en forma que antes de la sanción o peor? 2.-¿ Te ves con posibilidades de ganar el Tour de Francia 2012? 3.- ¿ En qué grandes vueltas vas a participar este año?

Muchas gracias, y MUCHA SUERTE

Alejandro Valverde

La primera, me veo en una forma física muy buena y, sobre todo, mentalmente más maduro y con más motivación. ¿Si me veo con posibilidades con el Tour? Sí que me veo, soy realista y sé que es muy complicado. Ganarlo es difícil, pero ya he estado delante en varias grandes y creo que puedo estar con los mejores. Y la tercera, este año correré en principio seguro el Tour y luego, ya veremos si la Vuelta.

Alejandro Gómiz (Almoradi)

¿Has notado el cambio de la forma física desde la ultima competición hace dos años? ¡Saludos campeón!

Alejandro Valverde

La verdad es que no. Me he encontrado muy bien en Australia y no he notado práticamente el cambio. Para eso he trabajado tan duro y he hecho tantos sacrificios durante este año y medio. ¡Un saludo!

Paco Sánchez (Neila de San Miguel)

Un día baje detras de tí la Covatilla. Estabas triste por perder la Vuelta en favor de Roberto Heras. ¿Quiero saber cual ha sido el día más duro para ti subido a una bicicleta?
El puerto mAs duro que has subido es...

Alejandro Valverde

Ha habido días muy duros, pero uno de los que más recuerdo es una etapa del Dauphiné que acababa en el Mont Ventoux. Estuve toda la noche anterior vomitando y aquel día fue un infierno para mí. Perdí 40 minutos arriba. Creo que fue en 2008. ¿El puerto más duro? El Angliru.

Juanjo Vera (Murcia)

Alejandro, eres capaz de ganar al mejor, lo hiciste con Armstrong en Courchevel, y creo que tienes calidad para ganar cualquier carrera incluido el Tour. Pero pienso que en ocasiones te ha faltado concentración durante las carreras, y capacidad de sufrimiento para darlo todo cuando toca entregarse, como te pasó con Vinokourov en la Vuelta 2006 que tenías que haberte soldado a su rueda y haber ganado tú, ¿has pensado en trabajar ese aspecto mental?.

Saludos campeón.

Alejandro Valverde

Esto no es fácil y por mucho que quieras, pierdes la concentración. Pero no sólo me pasa a mí, sino a mucho otros corredores. Quizás conmigo ha coincidido en momentos claves. Pero creo que con la madurez y la experiencia se va corrigiendo y mejorando por sí sólo. De momento, no he probado con temas de psicología, creo que me pondría más nervioso, jeje.

JOSE LUIS (JOSELILLO)

Que faceta ha estado mejorando durante estos dos años, contrarreloj, escalada, sprint....? y ¿Crees que puedes disputarle los finales de atapa a hombres como, Purito o Gilbert?

Alejandro Valverde

Mejorar sobre todo en crono. Al menos lo he intentado. No creo que en las primeras cronos se vea el resultado, pero confío en que se note más adelante. ¿Purito y Gilbert? Son grandes corredores y unas veces podré con ellos y otras lo harán ellos conmigo.

anónimo

Hola Alejandro. Un admirador tuyo. ¿De donde has sacado las fuerzas durante todo este tiempo para poder entrenar? ¿Como conseguías motivarte? Enhorabuena por toda tu carrera y mucho animo

Alejandro Valverde

Sobre todo por la familia, los amigos y la grupeta de entrenamiento que he tenido a mi lado. Y luego yo mismo, con las ganas que le he puesto para volver a ser el mismo de antes. Cuando te gusta tanto lo que haces, como es mi caso, resulta más fácil.

Hermenegildo Rodríguez Calero Orihuela(Alicante)

Hola Alejandro me gustaria saber si aparte de tu objetivo que es ganar el Tour de Francia para este año, que te parece el recorrido de la vuelta a España crees que es una vuelta muy centralizada en el norte o que podría ser una vuelta como otros años más diversa por toda España? por último a ver si te pasas por Orihuela ya que está este fin de semana el mercado medieval más grande de España SALUDOS.

Alejandro Valverde

No creo que me dejen escaparme para Orihuela, jeje. Ha habido Vueltas para todos. Unos años se ha centrado más en el Sur también. Creo que este año han conseguido hacer un recorrido muy bonito y va a ser una Vuelta espectacular.

Mateo (Málaga)

Alejandro fue un lujo esperar toda la madrugada para verte ganar en el willunga, mi pregunta es si este año te veremos en el Giro de Lombardía al adelantarse una semana y ser sólo seis días después del mundial.

Alejandro Valverde

Muchas gracias por el madrugón! Veremos cómo llego al final de año, porque es un calendario muy cargado. Sí que es una carrera que me gusta mucho y que me gustaría alguna vez hacerla bien, pero no sé si va a ser este año.

Josep

Hola Alejandro, no estas mas deglado ahora que antes de que te fuiste? No habrás perdido un poco de potencia tan delgado?

Alejandro Valverde

Sí es cierto que estoy alrededor de kilo y medio respecto al peso en forma de antes. ¿Potencia? De momento en Australia parece que sigo igual. Tendremos que analizar de cara a las clásicas si es mejor coger un kilo más para tener algo más de reservas.

Pablo Plazas - Totana (MURCIA).

Comentaste hace poco en una entrevista que habías disfrutado y apredido mucho al tener la oportunidad de ver por la "tele" mucho ciclismo, que en la tele se aprende mucho qué hacen los ciclistas y cómo se mueve la carrera, se ve más claramente que resoplando a 190 pulsaciones sobre la bici... ¿Te sientes ahora más capacitado que antes para gestionar tu rendimiento ? ¿Ves el ciclismo de distinta forma (menos de sensaciones y más de táctica?

Alejandro Valverde

Sí, posiblemente tienes razón. En TV se ve todo distinto, ves más los errores que tenemos en competición. Espero que sí me sirva para que, cuando vayamos al límite, poder analizar esas caras de sufrimiento a mi alrededor de diferente manera.

sebas roch(benejuzar)alicante

alejandro un saludo¿cuales han sido tus tres victorias mas importantes?digamelas por orden o sino la que mas alegria le haya dado, gracias y enhorabuena,

Alejandro Valverde

No fue victoria, pero como alegría me quedo con la medalla de plata en el Mundial de Canadá. Fue mi primer Mundial en profesionales y ser subcampeón con 23 años me dejó un sabor especial. Luego, el triunfo ante Armstrong en Courchevel y como emotiva, la que conseguí en Australia la semana pasada. Fue muy especial.

Rubén Conesa (Barcelona)

Buenas Alejandro,

¿Qué es aquello que más te ha sorprendido al ver el ciclismo por televisión que no puedes ver mientras compites?

Alejandro Valverde

Sobre todo temas tácticos que en carrera no te das tanta cuenta. ¿Cuáles? No se pueden decir, que si no los sabran nuestros rivales, jeje.

josechu de murcia

te has sentido dejado por los compañeros de peloton por el no positivo, sabiendo ellos que tu eras inocente,

Alejandro Valverde

No, la verdad es que me he sentido querido. Siempre hay alguno que no, como en todas las coss, pero en general me he sentido muy arropado.

Andoni, Zalla

Hola Alejandro, enhorabuena por ser tan bueno! Mi pregunta es la siguiente:
Es posible que en un futuro cercano , 2013 por ejemplo, te veamos correr el calendario Italiano (Tirreno, San Remo, Giro, Lombardia....) Creo que los Italianos se merecen que les ganes alguna carrera. Suerte!!

Alejandro Valverde

Pues no lo sé. Como he dicho antes, estamos centrados en este año y prácticamente no tengo calendario italiano, No por nada, porque antes del parón tampoco corría mucho en Italia. Pero son carreras que me gustan y me van bien. De momento, las prioridades del equipo son otras.

sebas(torrevieja)

hola alejandro soy un"ciclista"amater tngo 23años he corrido mucho con tu hermano y m entreno por tu zona y siempre e tenido una curiosidad sobre ti.¿por que dicen que a valverde no le va el frio o esos dias "malos"?yo perdona xo creo que es psicologico como aquella etapa de la vuelta que gano bettini,balaverde un abrazo y a muerte

Alejandro Valverde

Tienes un poco de razón. El frío es duro para todos, pero a unos les afecta más que a otros. La cabeza en estos casos es un 85% y si te mentalizas y le echas valor, creo que se puede superar. Tambien he ganado en días muy malos de tiempo. Prefiero el calor, pero...

El Bandera Verde! MURCIA

¿A sido de gran ayuda la grupeta de entrenamiento que tienes en murcia durante este periodo de tiempo que has estdo sin competir? un saludo CAPO.

Alejandro Valverde

Recuerdos para tí! Sí, ha sido fundamental tener ese grupo en Murcia para seguir entrenándome bien. No sólo es el nivel que le dan los pros, sino amateurs, cicloturistas... gente que te acompaña en los entrenamientos y con la que da gusto estar.

gedus, Genova (Italia)

Lo primero enhorabuena por tu victorioso regreso, realmente ansiaba volverte a ver luchando en la carretera. Mi pregunta es: No te has llegado a plantear en todo este tiempo, si con el trato injusto al que eras sometido, merecìa la pena seguir adelante? Un abrazo campeòn y suerte esta temporada, estoy seguro que nos haras disfrutar.

Alejandro Valverde

Muchas gracias. Cuando te gusta tanto una cosa, aunque sea tan duro como el trato que he sufrido, no te planteas en ningún momento tirar la toalla.

Anius

¿Cómo ves el ciclismo español para las olimpiadas? ¿Tendremos posibilidad de ganar alguna medalla? Ganemos o no,ahí os estaremos apoyando,mucho ánimo,España está con vosotros!

Alejandro Valverde

Gracias por los ánimos. Yo lo veo muy bien. Tenemos al actual campeón, que es Samuel, y por lo que he podido ver el recorrido se adapta muy bien a las condiciones de Óscar Freire. Si lo hacemos bien, creo que hay opciones de mantener el título olímpico.

ISAURO GONZÁLEZ Quiroga(Lugo)

¿No tienes la sensación que los medios de comunicación han centrado mucho su objetivo sobre tu regreso y están generando excesiva expectativas y presión ?.
Mis mejores deseos para el MOVISTAR TEAM.

Alejandro Valverde

Bueno, creo que se han centrado porque también el equipo lo merece. Expectativas tenemos también muchas nosotros. Presión hay, pero nosotros vamos a hacer todo lo que podamos, ya veremos si luego podemos satisfacer todas esas expectativas.

Alberto de la Torre (@aldelatogil)

Hola Alejandro. Estuve en la presentación del equipo y es impresionante la espectación que despiertas entre los periodistas españoles. En el extranjero te buscan igual o crees que aún te seguirán tratando con recelo. Ánimo para la temporada, me alegro que estés de vuelta.

Alejandro Valverde

Es de agradecer el trato que me está dando la prensa española, que se está portando muy bien, también porque nosotros tratamos de cumplir con todos. Y en el extranjero también. Siempre hay alñgunos que te tratan mejor que otros, pero creo que en general tenemos que estar contentos.

Alejandro Valverde

Muchísimas gracias a todos por todo el cariño que me dais siempre. Me gustaría quedarme más rato por aquí con vosotros, pero me esperan en el masaje y hay que cumplir las normas! Un saludo a todos!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Monday, 24 October 2011

Alejandro Valverde - King of the Classics

Flèche Wallonne 2006



Liège–Bastogne–Liège 2006



Liège–Bastogne–Liège 2008



Clasica de San Sebastian 2008

Driven by Glory - Fabian Cancellara