Kimmage & Van Avermaet sum up divided reaction to Valverde’s win

Posted on: October 1st, 2018

Kimmage Van Avermaet Valverde

Alejandro Valverde embraced by Peter Sagan on the Worlds podium; a fantastic moment for some, nauseating for others (Photo: Sean Rowe)


Kimmage & Van Avermaet: Capture opposing views on Valverde


So Alejandro Valverde is pro cycling’s new world champion. The sport’s Peter Pan will wear the rainbow bands for the next 12 months.

It’s a fantastic result that has come after a near 20-year career of such high calibre it deserved to be capped by Worlds gold.

Or, it’s nauseating and a step backwards for the sport to have a rider who served a two-year doping ban as world champion.

Much has been said in the media and on social media in the last 24 hours about 38-year-old Valverde winning the men’s road race in Innsbruck.

But two voices – well known for different reasons – best summed up the opposing views on the new champion.

Greg van Avermaet was full of praise for Valverde, saying his doping ban was in the past and mattered little now.

Paul Kimmage, best known in cycling for writing about doping, had a different view.


Greg van Avermaet on Valverde

“I don’t think you should give a lot of weight to his past,” the Olympic champion told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.

“He is so consistent in his performances. I don’t think he is still doing that sort of stuff,” he added of the two-year ban that was imposed on Valverde for 2010 and 2011 after being linked via DNA to blood doping.

“Valverde deserves this title. He had been on the podium so often in the worlds. I am very satisfied with him. He’s the best rider of his generation,” added van Avermaet

“He had to wait a long time and this was his last chance and he grabbed it. This is pure talent.

“And he is there from February to now. That is a sign of pure talent; a classic rider. He is a deserved winner.”


Paul Kimmage on Valverde

Kimmage was covering the Ryder Cup this weekend. So we’ll have to wait until next week, if at all, for anything in The Sunday Independent on Valverde.

But he took to Twitter to voice his opinion on the new champion, getting to his point much quicker than the man who won the Olympics:



Kimmage Van Avermaet Valverde

Irish cycling photographer Sean Rowe captures Valverde’s big moment in Innsbruck.