Alejandro Valverde wnts to be in good shape in the second half of the upcoming
season. The Caisse d'Epargne captain told Spanish daily sports Marca that he wants to grab a podium place at the 2008 Tour
de France and wants to win the Olympic road race and the 2008 World Championships. Valverde said he "learned a lot" from this
years Tour de France and believes the route of the upcoming Tour is better for him as there are "less kilometers against the
clock." Valverde also thinks its good for him that next years 'Grand Boucle' will first hit the Pyrenees and than the Alpes.
Valverde thinks that his ambitions in the spring classics will suffer a bit but he wants to start at the Amstel
Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and Liège - Bastogne - Liège.
Alejandro Valverde also hopes that the International Cycling Union (UCI)
lowers its pressure on him. "I hope that 2008 will be calmer because
at times I wasn't able to train as I would have liked," he confessed.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) attempted to ban Valverde from
the 2007 world championships in Stuttgart, a two-time silver medallist in the elite men's road race, based on the UCI's
belief that he is implicated in the 'Operation Puerto' doping affair. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decided
that Valverde had the right to start at the 2007 worlds.
The Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) stood by the 2006 winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège,
who made a last gasp appeal to CAS in a bid to compete at the 2007 world's road race. The responsible judge who investigated
the 'operacion Puerto', Antonio Serrano said Valverde is not involved in the doping scandal. The Spanish cycling star was
also supported by the Spanish minister of sports, Jaime Lissavetzky. Valverde himself has always denied being involved
in the Spanish doping affair.
Valverde admitted that he failed to achieve the victories that were expected from him in the past season.
"I too would have liked to win some more races, I proved again that I can be at the front most of the season and I think that's
very important for an athlete who always tries to pushes himself to the highest level." .