Just three months after former UCI Road World Champion Alejandro Valverde retired from the pro peloton, he will once again line up to race – this time on gravel. The 42 year-old has signed a contract to race for longtime sponsor Movistar on a new gravel specific team, Movistar/Gobik Gravel Squad, with the team’s first race La Indomable in Spain on 23 April.
Part of the UCI Gravel World Championship Qualifying Series, La Indomable is a 105 kilometer mixed surface race in Southern Andalusia that allows riders to qualify for the 2023 UCI Gravel World Championships, if they finish in the top 25 percent of their age/gender category. It is the first of 16 UCI gravel events taking place prior to the world championships.
The new Movistar/Gobik gravel squad includes riders from Movistar’s WorldTour men’s and women’s road teams, as well as e-sports riders. Iván García Cortina, who finished an impressive fifth at the E3 Saxo Classic last week, will be competing alongside Valverde, as well as Ana Dillana and Hayley Simmonds from of the esports squad.
Canyon will supply bikes for the new gravel squad, with Spanish brand Gobik, Movistar’s current kit supplier, creating a new sky blue/earth brown uniform that “honors the adventurous and non-conformist spirit of gravel,” according to a team press release.
Photo Credit: Movistar
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