11 Jan 2012

Cycling ban gave new perspective: Valverde

6:32 pm on 11 January 2012

Back from a two-year drugs ban, Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde says the time off has given him a new perspective on cycling.

Valverde had to surrender the world number one ranking when his suspension was enforced after a lengthy process in mid-2010.

The 31-year-old starts his return at the Tour Down Under in South Australia, the opening ProTour event of the year, where he heads the all-Spanish Movistar team.

Valverde says he is happy the ban is over and says the break has helped him look at things differently as cycling took a back seat.

The 2009 Tour of Spain champion will target the Tour de France this year, with hopes of taking the title currently held by Australia's Cadel Evans.