The green bullet


Alejandro Valverde – the ‘Green Bullet’ – was a symbol of Spanish sport. Supremely talented, hard-working beyond belief, he was ranked no.1 in the world four times before retiring in 2022. He is a champion of undeniable charisma and immense achievement – and yet also a convicted doping cheat. Appearing in a list of encoded names, Valverde was one of many at the heart of a doping ring for elite sportsmen. Discovered by Spanish police in the infamous Operacion Puerto, the revelations contained in the operation threatened to rip cycling apart. Shrouded in secrets still, and committed to his silence, Valverde’s story shows corruption at the heart of the cycling world, from politicians, doctors, businessmen – all after one thing – success. And the money that comes with it.

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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 España 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, Operación Puerto, uncovered a vast international blood doping ring, Valverde denied all involvement. The revelations unearthed by Operación 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.

Additional information

Weight 0.51 kg
Dimensions 23.8 × 16.6 × 2.8 cm










796.62092 (edition:23)


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