Alejandro Valverde on retiring at Il Lombardia

‘I am leaving cycling at my maximum level’

Alejandro Valverde fires his “last bullet” -- la ultima bala -- this weekend at Il Lombardia.

Valverde will be a favorite for the fifth and final monument of the 2022 season

which will be the last for the Spanish star whose career started in 2002.

Valverde said he wouldn’t want to have it any other way in his last day in the saddle with Team Movistar

I leave cycling at the ideal moment, at my maximum level,” Valverde said in a media call. “I’ve only had such a high level on just a few occasions. I am retiring at the best time.”

The 42-year-old never won the Italian monument across his sometimes controversial career but finished second three times in 10 starts.