Remco Evenepoel "the best rider in the world at the moment, by a long way" according to Alejandro Valverde

Alejandro Valverde, like many other pro riders, has been in Singapore this weekend racing the Tour de France Singapore Criterium. He is officially retired from pro cycling, and has shared his thoughts on Remco Evenepoel, whom he believes will be the next dominator in cycling.

"With what he's showing at the moment, if he carries on like that, he'll be better than me for sure," Valvede told Cyclingnews in Singapore. "Being world champion as young as he is, and winning the Vuelta, Liège, San Sebastián, that's impressive. Valverde has had the opportunity to witness first-hand the power the Belgian has had, and most recently at the Vuelta a Espana Valverde helped but could not assist Enric Mas enough to break the Belgian, who soared to his first Grand Tour victory.

"He's a rider who, for me, right now, is the best. Tadej Pogacar is exceptional but Remco does things that surprise everyone. He's far superior to others. So for me, he's the best rider in the world at the moment, by a long way," he confidently states.

The Belgian is set to go into 2023 yet with undefined goals, but following a season that could hardly be any better, he will put on the rainbow stripes all-year long and likely ambition further success in the Grand Tours and monuments.

As for Valverde, he was questioned once again about the timing of his retirement, and if he regrets it whilst still showing great form this year. "No. It's better to finish in a good way, with good results," he responded. "That way people remember you as a rider of 20 years who had a good level at the start and a good level at the end."

"Going on beyond 42 doesn't make sense. OK, I could have a good level next year, but that's it now. I have to make way for the youngsters, and I'll be enjoying cycling from a different angle. I'm happy with my career. I'm not only leaving with 133 victories, but also with 110 runner-up places, and another 105 times third. So that's 300-something times on the podium. I achieved practically everything," the veteran continues.

Although his future in cycling is still unclear, a rider of his popularity, experience and most importantly close ties with Spanish cycling and more specifically Movistar Team will not struggle to settle in a new role. "I'm going to be involved a bit with the riders, a bit with the directors, and a bit with the coaches. It'll be a bit here and a bit there," he said, hinting he would stay connected with the team he's represented since 2005.

"I'll be trying to bring my experience to advise everyone where I can. If there's anything that can be improved I'll try and help do so," he concluded.

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