Valverde to test his luck at Giro d’Italia for the second and last time

Strange but true: in a career now entering its fourth decade and containing no less than 30 Grand Tours, Alejandro Valverde has only once taken part in the Giro d’Italia. But with less than five months of his rollercoaster career left to run, the Spaniard is on the point of doubling that tally.

On Friday, the 42-year-old will start the Giro again six years after his previous appearance in 2016. That year, he completed his ‘set’ of Grand Tour podium finishes, as well as netting a stage when he out-dueled Giro leader Steven Kruijswijk at Andalo. The Dutchman then ended up off the podium in a spectacularly topsy turvy finale but Valverde plodded steadily on to third place in Turin – although, unlike Kruijswijk, he has never returned to the Giro afterwards. Until now.

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