Sánchez looking forward to Mallorca challenge
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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Sánchez looking forward to Mallorca challenge

by Bjorn Haake at 12:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Luis León Sánchez is looking forward to the Mallorca Challenge, where the Caisse d'Epargne rider wants to continue to build his form that saw him finish second in the Tour Down Under. Surprisingly, the 2009 Paris-Nice winner will not defend his title this year.

Sánchez will do more active - and competitive - training in his native Spain. "I am happy to be returning to Mallorca," he said in an interview to esciclismo.com. "Thanks to the work this week and with the three races at the Challenge that I am going to do, I hope to return to a good racing form, so I can tackle my main objectives of the season."

His good showing in the Tour Down Under, where he won the hilly stage five featuring Willunga hill, he said was unexpected. "I didn't think I'd feel so well that early in the season," Sánchez said. "Luck and the support by my teammates carried me to this first, important victory in Australia."

Wins are good for the confidence. "Obviously, this early win will give me tranquility as well as motivation to continue to work for similar outbursts," the Spaniard added.

His schedule is already outlined and contains a bit of a surprise. "After Mallorca, I will travel to Portugal, for the Volta al Algarve. Then to Italy, for Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo." He will then take a two-week break to be fresh for the Vuelta al País Vasco. "Then I will race the three Classics Amstel, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The inclusion of Tirreno instead of Paris-Nice, which he won last year, may come as a surprise. "But it will be a new and different experience, which will serve as a new source of inspiration and motivation." There was another reason, of course. "The route suits me very well, with a long time trial, a mountaintop finish and a stage in the medium mountains."

Then he is off to Milano-Sanremo. "There, I want to surprise the sprinters, like I tried last year."

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