The career of Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde can be divided into two distinct periods either side of a two-year ban from January 2012 for doping offences. Before the ban he rose to number one in the world rankings following a series of victories in one-day classics and stage races, including three stage wins at the Tour de France.
He came back strongly after the ban, winning three stages at the 2012 Vuelta a Espana, finishing first in the points classification and second overall. He also performed well in the 2012 Tour de France, winning stage 17. In 2013, he won the Vuelta a Andalucia and then the points classification at the Vuelta a Espana.
He was born on 25th April 1980 in Murcia, Spain, and began racing at the age of nine at the Puente Tocinos club, finishing second in the first race in which he took part and winning his second. He won so many races as a junior on both the road and the track that he was nicknamed ‘El Imbatido’ (‘the Unbeatable’), and he turned professional in 2002 with Kelme-Costa Blanca.
There is no doubt that Alejandro is one of the most complete riders in the peloton, with excellent climbing skills and a fast sprint. His style was originally best suited to the one-day classics such as Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but his decision to change his preparation plans so he would arrive at the Grand Tours in the best possible shape paid dividends in 2009 with his winning performance at the 2009 Vuelta a Espana.