In what is perhaps unbelievable news, Alejandro Valverde is back racing and headed to the Giro d’Italia.
With Marzio Bruseghin pulled off the Movistar team roster over his involvement in the Mantova doping investigation, Valverde will now take his place.
“My condition is good and I will give my best,” said Valverde. “A spot on the podium is not possible but I will aim high. I have already studied some of the mountain stages. I am ready.”
Valverde had been suspended for doping until the end of the 2011 season but in a special late night session at the Spanish Cycling Federation, Valverde’s ban was terminated early.
“We were happy to comply as Alejandro was very motivated to ride the Giro with Alberto,” said president Juan Carlos Castano. “In reviewing the case, we decided to shorten his term by six months. The vote was unanimous.”
This news was greeted with enthusiasm at Movistar. “It is the best possible solution, and I must say, it pleases me greatly,” announced team manager Miguel Dopario. “Valverde is a great champion, a rider who commands respect.”
In recent months, Valverde was spotted training with Movistar and his former teammates despite his suspension. The latest news confirms the team’s commitment to signing the Spaniard and a provisional contract has already been arranged.
Since October, Valverde has been hard at work, preparing for his return. “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.
(Okay, that is a fake story. But admit in this crazy world of cycling that although this story is completely made up and a farce with imaginary quotes, that it’s not unbelievable. Valverde is not coming back at Movistar for the Giro but would it surprise you if the Spanish federation suddenly ended his ban? And if that were the case, would Movistar immediately hire him to race the next weekend? We think the answer to those two questions are yes and yes.)