I take a look at whether Alejandro Valverde has what it takes to win another Grand Tour after failing to win one since 2009.
Valverde won his home race the Vuelta a Espana in 2009 but since then he hasn't been able to win any of other three week stage races.
The Spaniard has never taken part in the Giro d'Italia but has frequently taken part in the Tour de France and the Vuelta. Valverde finished fourth in the Tour this year which is his highest ever finish in the race but some would say he still under-performed.
With Chris Froome and Alberto Contador crashing out early on many expected the race to be between Vincenzo Nibali and Valverde but the Movistar rider never really got going. He struggled with the big climbs in the Alps and the Pyrenees meaning he wasn't able to challenge for the yellow jersey.
However Valverde always seems to do well in the Vuelta and since 2003 he has never come lower than fifth. He finished third last year and will be hoping to improve on that this time around.
The question is though, does he have what it takes to win a major race? I'm not sure he does anymore.
If his form in the Tour de France is anything to go by he will struggle in the Vuelta too. His main rivals are much better in the mountains and in a lot of cases this is where big races are won and lost.
He also now has the problem that in many big races he will be supporting his teammate Nairo Quintana rather than leading the team himself because Quintana has become one of the best riders in road cycling. The Colombian has already won the Giro and came second in the Tour de France last year.
This shows that Movistar are putting their faith in Quintana rather than Valverde which will mean he will have limited chances to win further Grand Tours.
Quintana is a much stronger rider at the moment than Valverde is and unless the 34 year old can regain some form he won't be able to win another major event.
I can think of at least four cyclists that are stronger than Valverde at this moment in time, these are Froome, Contador, Quintana and Nibali. However if Valverde can improve in the mountains he may have a chance at winning another Grand Tour, and with Quintana training with him this could really help.
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