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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July, 2005, 07:23 GMT 08:23 UK
Alejandro Valverde
VALVERDE FACTFILE
Alejandro Valverde
DOB: 25/4/1980
Nationality: Spanish
Best Tour: Retired in 2005 - only Tour; won stage 10
Alejandro Valverde has all the attacking flair, grit and determination needed to be a future winner of the Tour de France.

But the 25-year-old first stab at the race in 2005 ended in him withdrawing on stage 13 with a knee injury.

He had already impressed by then, winning stage 10, holding the white jersey for the leading young rider in the race and lying fifth overall.

Bernard Hinault said of him: "I'd not be surprised if he won in 2006."

He has already impressed in the big races to date - he was third in the 2003 Tour of Spain and then fourth a year later.

A talented climber and time triallist, he has the two main skills needed to push for the podium.

He started his career with Kelme but looks far more settled and in better hands with Illes Balears.




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