Alejandro Valverde before the time trial crash that would end his 2017 season. // Photo: Tino Pohlmann

11/12/2017, CANYON Alejandro Valverde

Before the Comeback

It doesn’t take much for a rider’s season to go from dream to despair, just ask Alejandro Valverde. Unbeatable in spring en route to a record-breaking fifth Flèche-Wallonne title and a fourth win at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Valverde’s Tour de France was over before it had barely begun, one of many victims to the rain that fell on Düsseldorf that day. The sight of him stricken on the ground after careering into steel barriers raised the question; where now for a rider whose palmarés leaves little left to be desired? Could this be the final curtain call?

Months down the line, “Bala” is defiant that he will return to the same heights as before. The shattered kneecap has healed and he is now back in the saddle preparing for the season ahead. We threw open the forum to our Facebook community and asked him with the questions you wanted the answers to.  

Do you have any superstitions when you are racing or when out on a training ride?

AV: I always put my left shoe on first and check the tightness of the wheels before I start riding.

Did you try any other sports before you got into cycling?

AV: I tried football, like we all do at the beginning, and running as well, but I was never good at it. I loved riding, and though I never thought I would have been where I am now, cycling has been the sport I wanted to do from the beginning.

What is your favourite sport outside of cycling?

AV: I am fan of motorsport, like Moto GP. Anything that has a motor involved I’m generally a fan of.

Do you ride looking at your power or more by feel any what your body tells you?

AV: I’ve always liked to base my riding on feel; I know it helps to have technical help from the power meter or the team radio, however I still like not having to always rely on electronics when training or competing.

Does your race bike affect the performance of you and the team? How does it compare to compared to the bikes you have ridden previously?

AV: I really like Canyon because the bikes are so reliable, I’ve never had any problems with them. I rode the Ultimate during my first season and switched to the Aeroad for the second. I decided to go back to the Ultimate though, it’s super stiff bike and very precise when riding downhill – overall it’s just a very complete bike. It has everything.

You’ve been training hard since getting back on the bike after your crash, when will we see you back racing again?

AV: We were thinking about starting early with the Tour Down Under in Australia, but since Challenge Mallorca gets going just five or six days later, we decided to go with that.