A week later than usual, this Saturday starts a new edition of the Tour de France at Noirmoutier-en-l'Île, the most demanding race of the international calendar and the course that, just one year ago, ended with the dreams of Alejandro Valverde after a fall in a rainy prologue through the streets of Dusseldorf (Germany).
The Movistar Team cyclist not only rose from that blow, but a year later he reaches the French round with eleven new triumphs in his track record but, above all, having shown that those fractures and that operation in Germany did not end with his determination, his value and his character. In his 38, he exhibits the same category that has allowed him to overcome 100 victories as a professional in the best and most varied races of the cycling circuit.
Valverde will wear the celeste jersey of Movistar Team accompanying Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa in a trident that aspires to the yellow in Paris. Opposite, they will find the main references in this kind of races with few exceptions.
Le Tour begins with a long day and will have in its third stage the first important test, thanks to a TTT of 35 km that will mark distances between the favorites. The most important day on the first week will be the stage of Roubaix, feared and expected in equal parts, with cobbled sections that could decide the general as much or more than the mountain.
After a day of rest will begin the revenge of the climbers, with a first step through the Alps and a second one through the Pyrenees, highlighting as a novelty the explosive day of 65 kilometers with climbs to Peyragudes, Val-Louron and final in the Portet. If there is something left to solve, the individual time trial of the penultimate day will set the final podium in Paris, a mountain that Movistar Team expects this year to climb to the top.
Photo: Movistar Team