Valverde to return in 2012

2011-11-12 13:00

Madrid - Alejandro Valverde will ride for the Movistar team next season when he makes his return from a doping-related ban, the Spanish outfit said.

Spaniard Valverde, the 2009 Vuelta champion, was suspended for two years until 2012 after being implicated in the blood doping scandal Operation Puerto.

"On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Alejandro Valverde will be introduced as a Movistar rider for the 2012 season," Movistar said on their website (

Valverde, 31, was riding for the Caisse d'Epargne team before his suspension. Movistar took over from Caisse d'Epargne as main sponsor in 2011.

Valverde, who won the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic twice in 2006 and 2008, as well as the Fleche Wallone one-day race in 2006, has been training intensely during his suspension.

"He trained as much as when he was riding competitively, even more," Movistar team doctor Jesus Hoyos, told Spanish daily El Pais.

"This year, he rode 48.000 kilometres, more than during a normal season. And he weighs less than 60 kilos, less than when he rode his last Tour de France."