New from award-winning author Matt Rendell, an examination of the phenomenal success of Alejandro Valverde and the moral decay at the heart of Spanish cycling.
‘A study of a dominant force, a true gentleman racer despite his shadowy past’ Dan Martin
Alejandro Valverde – the ‘Green Bullet’ – was an international symbol of Spanish cycling for a quarter of a century before his retirement in 2022. Hard-working and supremely talented, he won the Vuelta a EspaÃ±a and stood on the podium of the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. World champion in 2018, he was also the world’s number-one-ranked rider four times. A man of indisputable charisma, he was also a convicted doping cheat.
When the Spanish police investigation, OperaciÃ³n Puerto, uncovered a vast international blood doping ring, Valverde denied all involvement. The revelations unearthed by OperaciÃ³n Puerto threatened to force cycling off the road.
Valverde’s long career was a high wire walk between the venal interests that surround elite sport in Spain. In a nation beset by corruption, political incompetence and social division, Valverde’s talent aided the public image of unscrupulous political and economic institutions.
Even today, Valverde maintains his reticence. The Green Bullet breaks the silence.