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Spanish veteran Valverde: cycling road race will be a question of elimination

N.C.N. Limited 徽标 N.C.N. Limited 4 天前 PaulGiblin
Esteban Chaves, Vincenzo Nibali, Alejandro Valverde posing for the camera © Provided by N.C.N. Limited

The overall winner, Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde (R) celebrates on the podium with the stage winner Italian Vincenzo Nibali (C) and stage runner-up Colombian Esteban Chaves (L) after the 21st and last stage of the Giro d'Italia 2016 cycling race, Turin, Italy, 29 May 2016. (Xinhua)

Spanish cycling veteran Alejandro Valverde says the race is a question of elimination without enough adaption but compete in heat and humidity, though he will still looks for glory on Saturday.

TOKYO, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Spanish cycling veteran Alejandro Valverde said the "biggest rival of all is the race itself" as the 41-year-old looks for glory in the road race on Saturday at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The men's cycling road race is a 234-kilometer slog, which takes in over 4,860 meters of climbing, with ramps of between 10-15 percent on the slopes of Mount Fuji and the Kagosaka pass, with that difficulty compounded by the tired legs many riders will have just six days after finishing the Tour de France and the hot and humid conditions expected for race day.

"I think it's a race where you won't need to attack, it will be a question of elimination," said Valverde in the Spanish sports paper, Diario AS.

"We have looked at the route and with the heat and the humidity, it's going to be really hard," commented the 2018 world champion, who is riding in his fifth Olympic Games.

Valverde formed part of the Spanish team which help Samuel Sanchez to win the 2008 Olympic men's road race in Beijing and he said the Tokyo course was slightly less difficult than that in Beijing.

He explained that he would rather ride in hot than cold conditions and said he had recovered well after the Tour.

"The hardest thing is that we have only had four days to adapt, but everyone who rode the Tour is in the same conditions," he commented.

The coach of the Spain team, Pascual Momparler also discussed the race, highlighting the threat of the Belgian and Italian teams, which contain riders such as Wout van Aert, Remco Evanpoul and reigning Olympic champion, Greg van Avermaet and Vincenzo Nibali.

"We will have to follow them, because if they can get clear, they will finish us. We will have to work hard and catch them, because if we don't do that, then we may as well retire," he warned.

Monparler counted Tour de France winner, Tadej Pogacar, Evenpool, Colombia's Rigoberto Uran and Dutch rider Bauke Mollema among his favorites.

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