the pro's pro

It took Alejandro Valverde almost two decades to finally win the Rainbow Jersey. As the second oldest World Champion in cycling history, he shows no signs of slowing up. This is the story of the pro’s pro.

Rainbow Redemption

Roll the clock back to 2002. Helmets were optional, styles were questionable, nobody had even heard of “marginal gains”, and Alejandro Valverde made his professional debut.

Across a career that has seen it all, from Monument milestones to Grand Tour glory, Valverde seemed destined to always fall short of one key objective – the Rainbow Jersey. 2003 marked the first of six visits to the World Championship podium before, at long last, he finally earned his stripes last September in Innsbruck.

(...) The moment of truth in Innsbruck. // Photo: Kramon


  • pro wins 123
  • worlds podiums 6
  • monuments 4
  • grand tours 1
  • rainbow jersey 1
El Imbatible

Bala’s successes are as much down to his tenacity, timing and tactics as they are to his physical strength. As a rider, his consistency is second-to-none, a trait he has possessed since his amateur days when he earned the title, “El Imbatible”. Mr. Unbeatable.

Within the peloton he has earned the respect of riders who single him out for his exemplary manner in the bunch. Away from races his meticulous preparation and commitment underline his status, the result of an undying passion towards his profession. Always in form. Always a threat. Valverde is the pro’s pro.

  • Valverde world champions' ultimate cf slx bike
    The Champ’s Ultimate. // Photo: Tino Pohlmann
  • 'Valverde
    A marked man more than ever. // Photo: Tino Pohlmann

The Rainbow Jersey singles Valverde out as more of a marked man than ever, but that hasn’t affected his appetite for competition, nor for new challenges. His first attempt at the Tour of Flanders at age 38 could hardly have gone better, calmly surfing the front of the pack all day and mixing it up with the cobbled specialists to finish in eighth. An unknown entity in an unknown race, his competitive instincts shone through.

(...) // Photo: Tino Pohlmann
Down The Road

As Valverde advances towards 40, it’s still anyone’s guess as to when he will finally hang up his wheels. A challenging World Championships in Yorkshire await, providing the stage for him to defend his world title. Next year could see into a final hit out for an Olympic medal in Tokyo, the ultimate curtain-closer perhaps? Whenever that day comes, the pro’s pro will remain a protagonist right till the very end.

Complete the Kit

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