Valverde hints at racing Tour of Flanders

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has hinted he may stay on in Belgium after riding Wednesday’s Dwars door Vlaanderen and line up in Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.

Valverde is riding Dwars door Vlaanderen with Movistar teammate Nairo Quintana in order to get a taste of cobbled racing before this year’s Tour de France stage across northern France to Roubaix. He was expected to head home after today’s race but is considering spending Easter Sunday at the Tour of Flanders.

“It is not 100 per cent excluded. In theory, the Ronde is not on my programme, but we are close to Sunday and we are in Belgium.” Valverde told Sporza.

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“I love the race route, which is very beautiful. The Ronde is a spectacular race, and I would like to be at the start even if I have never raced it before.”

Several Tour de France contenders have been preparing for the Roubaix stage of the Le Tour by riding cobbled Classics and other one-day races this spring. Valverde’s teammate Mikel Landa rode last week’s E3 Harelbeke, while Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) is also riding Dwars door Vlaanderen, and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) will ride the Tour of Flanders.

Under UCI rules, a team can enter a rider for a race up to 72 hours before the start, with a final confirmation from that list obligatory on the afternoon before the race.

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