“I sent him a video with images of the Luis Aragons documentary or a message from his son Marco,” explains Carlos Coloma, friend, predecessor and boss.

Valero, after getting bronze at Mount Izu.REUTERS

Updated Monday, July 26, 2021 –

“We had been working on his confidence for days, insisting that he could win a medal. These days in Tokyo he has seen a lot of motivational documentaries, the last one, one of Luis Aragons that excited him. That’s why just before the race I sent him a video with images of that documentary, of films like Braveheart and all together with a message from your child Marco, who is three years old. The boy was the one who pushed him the most. In Spain there were people who did not believe in their possibilities, who tried to convince him to go and secure the diploma, and I told him: ‘Look at yourself with Marco’s eyes, he believes in you, his mind is not contaminated, “he relates to the other side of the phone a Carlos Coloma broken with happiness, between silences forced by crying, after the bronze in the Tokyo Games of his friend, his old rival, his signing, his successor, David valero (Baza, 1988).

Everything Coloma did to get on the podium at the Ro 2016 Games was repeated by Valero this Monday: the bumpy start, the comeback, the final attack … he only had the gesture of grabbing his crotch, which changed for a scream furious with arms raised. “Nobody knows everything David has fought for, everything he has worked for … Since March we have recorded everything and I think we will make a documentary of those that he likes”, discovers Coloma and demands to go to the beginnings of Valero, is that is to say, to the countryside, to a town of 20,000 inhabitants to the east of Granada.

“His family has always been in the country, they have a lot of land. They grow everything, tomatoes, peppers and even raise animals. All in the company of his father and his uncle. [Agro-Ganadera Hermanos Valero] I worked when I was young until he came to my store, Ciclos Montoya. He was with me for four years, until he was 23. He was a mechanic and a salesman, a very good boy. Now I saw him stronger than ever. Room with my son Imanol, who went to school with him, lifelong friends, and told me: ‘He’s very strong, very strong,’ “he says. Jos Ramn Montoya, who hired him before he made the leap to professionals. Valero’s dream began at age 10 with a mythical BH California that his parents gave him, Francisco Y Mari CarmenHe continued through the outskirts of town and then through the Sierra de Baza, which is known as the corridors of his house.

No scholarships or aid

With his 1.89 meters as an obstacle, a rare height for a cyclist, it cost him a world to find a place in the mountain bike And that’s why it took so long to make the leap. “He always had the illusion of being a professional, but he did not have scholarships or aid. In lower categories they did not get him, but he put a lot of effort until he was signed by Vicma, then Olympia and, before leaving with Coloma, the MMR. Juegos de Ro was already very strong, but he also got hooked at the beginning and finished ninth. I am very happy for him, “concludes Montoya, who in recent months has not seen much of his former employee.

And it is normal. Before the Olympic Games, Valero concentrated for six weeks in the Sierra Nevada to train at altitude and then, before traveling to Tokyo, he took shelter in a rented chalet in Altea, where he got used to the humidity and lived in a bubble. anti-coronavirus with Coloma and his team.

“At the BH Temple we have made many efforts so that both David and Roco [Del Alba Garca, compite hoy en la prueba femenina] arrived in Tokyo in the best possible way. For me it is the culmination of a project that I started three years ago, when I decided that it was about time that in Spain there was a truly professional team of mountain bike“, explains Coloma and talks about how his professional union with Valero was born, his rival in national competitions for many years.

Valero, during Monday's race at Monte Izu.
Valero, during Monday’s race at Monte Izu.REUTERS

“Last October, at the World Cup in Austria, he told me that he was unmotivated, that he needed a change in his life, to be in a structure that really supported him, with physiotherapists, with nutritionists and I began to move to sign him. BH made an effort to offer him a contract at his level and when we closed it, he already confirmed that I should focus on accompanying him and Roco until the Games. Until then my idea was to be in Tokyo and try to get another medal, but I already saw that my role should be different, “he acknowledges. who was third in Ro 2016. Together, Coloma and Valero planned down to the last detail and even the scenario lived: that a hook would delay him in the first moments and he had to go back.

“In the World Cup there are many more rivals, but in some Games there are very few. That is why I told him not to worry, to do his thing and that if the race stopped, as it happened, he could catch everyone. world in panties. Nino Schurter, the current Olympic champion! “, Coloma ends and demands that now, Valero’s work be recognized, that he be supported, that he be pushed.

The kid who dreamed of a BH California, who wandered the fields cultivated by his family, who drenched himself in cycling selling and repairing bicycles, and who was late to pro is now an Olympic medalist. “Everything is wanting,” Luis Aragons told his players before the 2008 Euro Cup final in the documentary. And Valero, of course, wanted to.

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