Samuel Sanchez concedes it is difficult for him to secure a team at this point
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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Samuel Sanchez concedes it is difficult for him to secure a team at this point

by Shane Stokes at 12:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Rider still searching for a contract; says final time trial in Vuelta a España could prove crucial, despite shortness

Samuel SanchezThe new year has started, the 2014 racing season is about to get underway for many in the peloton, but Samuel Sanchez has admitted that he is still fruitless in his search for a new squad.

The 2008 Olympic champion was left stranded when his Euskaltel Euskadi team folded, and told EFE that he considered it “difficult to find a team at this point.” However he said that he hoped to return to the peloton “as soon as possible.

“I'm without a team and the situation is difficult because the teams and budgets have closed. But I'm trying to find a project that motivates me, and hope to finish up in an interesting team,” the Spaniard said at today’s route presentation of the 2014 Vuelta a España.

Sanchez originally had a contract to race this year with his previous Euskaltel Euskadi squad. However that team folded, and takeover talks with Formula One driver Fernando Alonso were not successful.

Teams such as Colombia said that they were interested in Sanchez, but the rider said that he wanted to sort out the situation with Euskaltel Euskadi. This was interpreted by many as meaning the securing of a settlement to compensate him for the stoppage of the team when he had a contract in place.

He was under consideration for a place on Tinkoff Saxo but El Pais reported last month that the new owner, Oleg Tinkov, had blocked the move. The team’s general manager Stefano Feltrin subsequently denied this was the case, telling VeloNation that Bjarne Riis was solely responsible for deciding who raced with the team, and that there had been no agreement to give him a contract.

“As far as I know we never made an offer to him, no formal undertaking or commitment,” he said. “It is true that the team and he had some conversations, but it is a long shot from that to say the team rescinded a contract.”

Now with the midpoint of January fast approaching, the grains of time are running out for Sanchez in terms of getting a ride for this season. He accepts that finding a team in Spain is “almost impossible,” but says that he is open to going abroad.

As regards today’s unveiling of the Vuelta a España route, he said that he considered the route “demanding,” and that stages such as those to La Farrapona or Los Ancares could be key to the final outcome.

So too the concluding time trial; although it is just ten kilometres long, Sanchez cautions that it could still be decisive.

“The last day can pose traps. If differences are short there will be nervousness, and a puncture or other circumstances could change things.”


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