October 9, 2017 / 10:53 AM / in 12 days

Valverde to skip next year's Tour de France

PARIS (Reuters) - Spain’s Alejandro Valverde will skip next year’s Tour de France as he feels he will not be among the favourites and his Movistar team have what it takes to win it without him.

FILE PHOTO - MovistarTeam rider Alejandro Valverde of Spain competes during the 17th stage individual time trial of the Vuelta Tour of Spain cycling race in Burgos, Spain, September 9, 2015.

Valverde’s 2017 season, one of the best in his career, was cut short in July when he sustained a serious knee injury in a crash during the opening time trial at the Tour.

“With the signings the team made, with (Mikel) Landa (fourth overall this year despite riding in support of Chris Froome), and Nairo (Quintana)... I don’t want (to do) the Tour,” Valverde told Spanish daily El Pais on Monday.

“I will dedicate myself to the Giro, the Vuelta and the world championships which will be very hard.”

The 37-year-old Valverde, third overall in the 2015 Tour, is likely to be among the leading favourites for the world title on a mountainous circuit in Innsbruck, Austria.

He has six medals at the world championships between 2003 and 2014, but has never won gold.

Reporting by Julien Pretot,; Editing by Ed Osmond

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