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Alejandro Valverde decides against the Tour of Flanders

Spanish rider hinted at participation in the Tour of Flanders but now looks unlikely

Jack Elton-Walters
28 Mar 2018

Despite an impressive ride at yesterday's Dwars door Vlaanderen, Alejandro Valverde has decided not to ride Sunday's Tour of Flanders. 

This will come as a disappointment to neutrals hoping the veteran Spaniard would have been tempted into going for glory at the Belgian Monument after finishing 11th at a wet Dwars door Vlaanderen. 

The 37-year-old rode an attacking race yeterday, nipping off of the front on the Kruisberg together with eventual winner Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors).

However, Valverde has decided not take part in Flanders this Sunday, instead racing the GP Miguel Indurain on Saturday before returning to the Netherlands and Belgium for the Ardennes Classics in late April.

Valverde's presence on the start list of Dwars was mostly to get in some cobbles training ahead Stage 9 of the 2018 Tour de France, which will take on 15 secteurs between Arras and Roubaix.

In an interview with Sporza earlier in the week, the veteran rider spoke of his aims for Dwars door Vlaanderen, saying, 'I am here for the Tour stage, but I am also ambitious. I am a very competitive rider and wherever I go I want to do well.'

However, he also hinted at getting more out of his visit to the Flemish region.

'Sunday in De Ronde? It is not 100 percent excluded,' he told the Belgian outlet, without being tied to a definitive answer.

Valverde's teammate Mikel Landa has already been doing some cobbles training of his own, riding last week's E3 Harelbeke where he finished 86th.

With Movistar present in Belgium and the Tour of Flanders just days away, one rider might find themselves disappointed - or relieved - if they are removed from the start list and replaced with Valverde.

As it stands, the Movistar riders due to take on De Ronde are: Daniele Bennati, Andre Amador, Richard Carapaz, Imanol Eriviti, Nuno Bico, Nelson Oliveira and Jasha Sutterlin.

You can find the entire provisional start list here: Tour of Flanders 2018: Route and start list will be reporting on Dwars door Vlaanderen today, after which we may have a clearer idea of Valverde's intentions for the weekend.