Clásica San Sebastián sees Luis León Sánchez bounce back from Olympic disappointment
  August 17, 2022 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Clásica San Sebastián sees Luis León Sánchez bounce back from Olympic disappointment

by Ben Atkins at 4:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Clásica de San Sebastián
Spanish rider puts London time trial mechanical problems behind him to take his home Classic

Luis Leon SanchezRabobank’s Luis León Sánchez has managed to put the dejection of his disastrous Olympic time trial behind him with a solo victory in the Clásica San Sebastián. Having finished third behind Team Sky’s Great Britain duo of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in the final time trial of the Tour de France, the Spanish time trial champion was one of the outside favourites for a medal in the 42km London race. His hopes were dashed though, when his chain snapped as he rolled down the start ramp, and he eventually limped around in 32nd place.

"That was not and is not easy to forget, but my first big race after that being in my own country has helped a bit, and if you win to boot, then everything's basically all right again," he said after his Clásica victory.

"Of course, I returned disappointed from London,” he explained. “That was hard, but I'm a professional, so you've just got to get past it. The fact that I could return to my own country and ride the first big race there, was a good thing to latch on to. Ultimately, this prospect has kept me motivated in recent days.”

Today’s victory was Sánchez’ second in San Sebastián; two years ago he won a three-man sprint over Alexandre Vinokourov and Carlos Sastre, but this was a very different victory entirely.

"[It was] harder than the first time,” he said. “You're closely watched. It's hard to win one, much less two. The competition was also on really good form. But I was super motivated. The team too. Our preparation was also really good and the strategy of the sports directors worked great. It went well all day. Everyone did what was expected of him.

“Early on I had the feeling that it might work out today,” he added. “Confidence was high and that only got higher as the race went on, since we had the initiative."

With less than ten kilometres to go, Sánchez put in one of the trademark solo attacks that earned him a stage victory in July’s Tour de France. Where that victory owed much to the fact that the four big names that he had escaped from were watching one another, which meant that they could not organise a chase; this win owed much to the disruptive presence of his teammates in the 29-strong peloton behind him.

"Of course it's a win for me, but it's also a really good win for the team,” Sánchez explained. “The team was right up there all day. When I attacked in the finale, Bauke Mollema especially put in fantastic work for me and Robert Gesink did later on too. It's something you just can't do alone. Everyone stuck to the plan, so then the attack was already partly successful."

Having barely had any time off in the last two months, Sánchez will not be riding the Vuelta a España, which starts this Saturday. Instead he will concentrate on the coming batch of one-day WorldTour races, where he will have similar hopes to those at San Sebastián.

"I'm going to focus on a couple of nice one-day races,” he said. “The Vattenfall Cyclassic in Hamburg, the GP Plouay in France, and the two World Tour races in Canada, the GP Québec and the GP Montréal. Those are perfect races for me. The season's not nearly over with."


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC