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  • Seven Dials
  • Seven Dials

The Green Bullet: The rise, fall and resurrection of Alejandro Valverde and Spanish cycling s corruption

Matt Rendell

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Spain, Biography: historical, political & military, Biography: sport, History of sport, Drug abuse in sport, Cycling

New from prize-winning writer Matt Rendell, a shocking deep dive into the tumultuous life of the Green Bullet, Alejandro Valverde - the champion and the cheat, and the history of Spanish cycling's corrupt heart.

New from award-winning author Matt Rendell, an examination of the phenomenal success of Alejandro Valverde and the moral decay at the heart of Spanish cycling.

'A study of a dominant force, a true gentleman racer despite his shadowy past' Dan Martin

Alejandro Valverde - the 'Green Bullet' - was an international symbol of Spanish cycling for a quarter of a century before his retirement in 2022. Hard-working and supremely talented, he won the Vuelta a Espana and stood on the podium of the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France. World champion in 2018, he was also the world's number-one-ranked rider four times. A man of indisputable charisma, he was also a convicted doping cheat.

When the Spanish police investigation, Operacion Puerto, uncovered a vast international blood doping ring, Valverde denied all involvement. The revelations unearthed by Operacion Puerto threatened to force cycling off the road.

Valverde's long career was a high wire walk between the venal interests that surround elite sport in Spain. In a nation beset by corruption, political incompetence and social division, Valverde's talent aided the public image of unscrupulous political and economic institutions.

Even today, Valverde maintains his reticence. The Green Bullet breaks the silence.

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Matt Rendell

Matt Rendell is an award-winning author and journalist. He is a member of ITV's presentation team at the Tour de France and, as a translator, reporter, commentator and podcaster, he has contributed to British Tour coverage for over 25 years.

He created the Real Peloton podcast and hosted ITV's Tour de France podcast. He has written for the Observer, New Statesman, Guardian and Financial Times, as well as the principal cycling magazines and websites.
His many books include The Death of Marco Pantani and Colombia Es PasiA n! When not writing, he leads cycle tours in Europe and Colombia.

Contact him on Twitter @mrendell.

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