Valverde to lead Caisse d'Epargne at Tour of Spain

Spaniard one of the top favourites for his national tour

Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde will lead the Caisse d'Epargne team at this year's Tour of Spain, the cycling team announced on Monday.

The 29-year-old, who finished second in the 2006 Vuelta, did not compete in this year's Tour de France after being banned from competing in Italy for two years by the Italian Olympic Committee after he was implicated in the Operation Puerto doping scandal.

The decision, which Valverde has contested, ruled him out of the Tour de France, the 16th stage of which passed through Italy.

The Vuelta takes place from August 29 to September 20.

Caisse d'Epargne team:

Imanol Erviti (Spa), Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta (Spa), Vasil Kiryienka (Blr), David Lopez (Spa), Dani Moreno (Spa), Fran Perez (Spa), Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa), Alejandro Valverde (Spa), Xavier Zandio (Spa)

© AFP 2009

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