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Spanish road cyclist Valverde ready for Olympics
15:18, August 03, 2008

Spanish road cyclist Alejandro Valverde believes he is ready for the upcoming Olympics after winning the San Sebastion Classic cycling race on home soil.

"I finished the Tour very motivated, I proved today that both physically and mentally I am feeling very good. If we are lucky in Beijing I think we can do great things over there too." He told local press after his victory on Saturday.

He will fly to Beijing with his Spanish Olympic teammates next Monday. Besides Valverde, Spain's formidable Olympic line-up includes Tour de France green jersey Oscar Freire, Samuel Sanchez, Giro d'Italia champion Alberto Contador and Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre.

"I believe that we are one of the most dangerous teams. Everybody knows what Alberto already won this year and what he is able to do in every kind of race. Carlos just won the Tour, and Oscar and Samuel also achieved a great Tour. I believe that the five of us can challenge for a medal." Valverde said.

In his eyes, German Stefan Schumacher and Italian Paolo Bettini will become his most dangerous opponents.

"I fear especially Stefan Schumacher if one considers the great condition he showed during the entire Tour. Paolo Bettini, the outgoing Olympic champion, must also be taken into account. And there surely will be many other riders who have prepared very well for this event."

The 248.5-kilometer Beijing course is expected to suit Valverde's characteristics, with seven hilly finishing circuits coming after a flat opening 78 kilometers.

"I believe that after the Tour de France, I will have the necessary resistance for such a difficult race," added Valverde.

The men's Olympic road race will be held on August 9, one day after the opening ceremony.

Source: Xinhua

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