Samuel Sanchez could race for Wanty Groupe Gobert after all
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Samuel Sanchez could race for Wanty Groupe Gobert after all

by Shane Stokes at 2:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
UnitedHealthcare team dismisses suggestions it has been in discussion with former Olympic champion

Samuel SanchezFollowing the news earlier today that Kevin Seeldraeyers has a verbal agreement with the new Wanty-Groupe Gobert team, manager Hilaire Van der Schueren has said that Samuel Sanchez is indeed on the radar of the team and could end up racing there.

While Het Laatste Nieuws said that the team was full, Sporza quotes Van der Schueren as saying that there may be room for more riders, including Sanchez. It is thought that will depend on additional backing being found to cover the salary costs.

“You can have up to 25 riders on your team…with us, it will probably be 22 or 23,” he said. He confirmed that the 2008 Olympic champion had been in contact with the team.

“We had contact yesterday . He will have to choose between us and an American pro continental team,” he said.

“He must handle his case with Euskaltel, only then can we talk about his arrival. He would be a serious trump card. He has a good time trial and can race for the general classification. That would open the door for participation in a Grand Tour.”

The unnamed American team has been said by some to be UnitedHealthcare but, contacted by VeloNation, it denied this was the case.

“Our 2014 roster for our men’s team is complete at this time and we are not in negotiation with Samuel Sanchez or any other rider,” said spokesman Wesley Mallette.

That also means that rumours that Chris Horner could go to the team are wide of the mark. He won the Vuelta a España in September but thus far has been unable to find a squad for next year. One issue is his age; he turned 42 years old last month.

The other is questions about his apparent surge in form so late in his career. He rejects suggestions that there is anything suspicious about this, although one of the UCI’s biological passport experts, Robin Parisotto, has said that he believes Horner’s released data warrants further testing.

As regards Sanchez, the only other North American team currently registered as Pro Continental squad, Novo Nordisk, is comprised entirely of diabetic riders. Spokesman Stefan Schwenke confirmed that this policy will remain and that Sanchez is not on the team’s recruitment list.

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