David Valero celebrates his birthday and ends 2022 as number 1 in the UCI rankings
The Spanish David Valero has signed in 2022 the best season of his career to date. A year full of victories and podiums that have placed him at the top of the world mountain bike and have left him as number 1 in the UCI XCO ranking. In that position he will enter 2023 and is celebrating his 34th birthday.
David Valero is doubly celebrating
December 27th is David Valero's birthday, and in 2022 he will certainly have a lot to celebrate. At just turned 34, the BH Templo Cafés rider is in his best sporting moment and his position at the top of the UCI XCO ranking attests to that.
With just a few days left in the year, it is worth taking a quick look back at the most important results of the last 12 months.
The truth is that Valero did not start the 2022 season in the best way, and in the first event of the XCO World Cup, in Brazil, he finished 39th, his worst result of the year. But from then on, everything went upwards.
In Albstadt, Germany, he reached his first World Cup podium with a fifth place. A position that he again came close in Leogang and Lenzerheide. But it was from the second half of July when he started his best moment of the season and of his sporting career so far.
In the Andorra World Cup only Luca Braidot was faster than Valero in one of the hardest races of the year marked by heat and suspended dust. And after winning a new national XCO championship was when his most important victory came in Snowshoe.
Under terrible conditions of rain, mud and fog, David Valero won the Snowshoe XCO World Cup, his first World Cup victory and a historic win for Spain, 12 years after José Antonio Hermida won the last one for the country.
But the gas was not over for the rider from Baza and a week later he was back on the podium with a third place at the XCO World Cup in Canada.
Although it was at the end of August when we could see what may have been Valero's best race, due to its importance and the solid comeback he made before the best mountain bikers in the world in his best moment. At the World Championships in Les Gets, David Valero was the protagonist of the race and after a brilliant performance he won the silver medal behind Nino Schurter.
After the World Championship, the World Cup ended in Val di Sole, where Valero again almost reached the podium with a sixth place.
While most cyclists have already finished their season, Valero decided to stretch his peak form and still had time to win the first Spanish Short Track Championship and some other races, such as the Costa Blanca or the recent Titan Desert in Arabia.
Such a solid season in terms of results is only within the reach of a chosen few, and among all of them the name of David Valero stands out since September in the UCI XCO ranking. There he holds the first place for the third consecutive month and so he will start the year 2023.