Eight years after last riding race, Samuel Sanchez to aim for Giro d’Italia success
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Eight years after last riding race, Samuel Sanchez to aim for Giro d’Italia success

by VeloNation Press at 7:33 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Former Vuelta runner up will fight for Maglia Rosa

Samuel SanchezThe 2008 Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez has decided to focus on the Giro d’Italia in 2013, with El Correo reporting that he will ride the race for the second time in his career.

According to his Euskaltel Euskadi team manager Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, he will take the start on May 4th in Naples, eight years after participating in the 2005 edition of the race.

“If all goes as planned, I will have riders to fight on all the fronts,” said Gonzalez de Galdeano, referring to Sanchez in the Giro and Mikel Nieve - plus, possibly, Igor Anton - in the Tour.

Sanchez had a difficult 2012 season, with a very bad crash in the Tour forcing him to miss the defence of his Olympic title. It’s not clear if the memories of that fall have played a part in the decision to aim for the Giro, but Gonzalez de Galdeano has not ruled out him doing both it and the Tour.

However unlike many professionals, Sanchez has only ridden two Grand Tours in a single year once before; he competed in both the Giro and the Vuelta in 2005, placing 17th and tenth respectively. In the years since he has done the Vuelta in 2006, 2007 and 2009, netting seventh, third and second overall, while in 2008, 2010 and 2011 he was sixth, third and fifth in the Tour.

He also won the mountains jersey in the latter, as well as winning stage twelve.

Going back to the Giro almost a decade later is something that Gonzalez de Galdeano hopes will motivate the Spaniard. Apart from being a race that he hasn’t participated in for quite some time, thus giving a fresh perspective, it’s also more mountainous than the Tour de France and should suit his explosive characteristics.

“Samuel is 34 years of age, and although he has more seasons at a competitive level and the Tour has been our reference, I think it's time to make race programmes that motivate,” he explained.

He believes that the 2013 edition of the race could work out very well for him. “It is a route that could see him go well, and besides, the Giro is a race where the objective of Samuel is to not lose ground to the Italians,” the manager said.

However the aim is not to stay level with them, but to end up in front. “To be ahead and with options, we will include foreign riders in the team in order to do a good team time trial,” he added.

While Sanchez has only once ridden two Grand Tours in the same year, Gonzalez de Galdeano isn’t ruling out that he could still head to the Tour de France afterwards. “We will decide after the Giro if Samuel is able or not,” he concluded.


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