Valverde ready for new era

Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde says he is “starting a new era” with his new team Movistar after completing a two-year doping ban.

Valverde said at his official presentation with Movistar on Wednesday that he “trained hard and …. did things right” during his time away from competition.

The 31-year-old Valverde was stripped of his No. 1 world ranking and banned for two years from January 2010 after being implicated in Operation Puerto, a blood-doping ring in Spain involving more than 50 riders.

Valverde’s first race back will be Australia’s Tour Down Under from Jan. 22-25.

He will lead a Movistar team that also recently signed 2011 Spanish Vuelta winner Juan Jose Cobo.

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