Paris-Nice: Valverde will support Sanchez if necessary
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Paris-Nice: Valverde will support Sanchez if necessary

by Conal Andrews at 10:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice
 

Alejandro Valverde has made it clear that he is willing to give his full backing and support to Luis León Sanchez if the defending champion is in contention for the Paris-Nice title once again.

While not ruling out his own ambitions of winning, he has indicated that he will back his compatriot if he has a better chance of winning for the Caisse d’Epargne squad.

“We are not only team-mates but also friends and we know each other very well. That’s a great advantage we have compared to other teams,” he said. “When harmony is so good, to have two leaders in the same team is an advantage and we hope to go as far as possible in the race in the same conditions.

“Later the race conditions will decide the winner. Of course, that’s not forgetting that we are not the only riders able to win and that many other riders are able to receive the yellow jersey next Sunday in Nice.”

After three stages, Sanchez is the better placed of the two. He is third overall, just ten seconds behind the Maillot Jaune Lars Boom; Valverde was off pace in the prologue and is eleventh, 31 seconds back. In theory tomorrow’s finish to Mende should suit Valverde better as he is a more explosive rider.

The latter won the recent Tour of the Mediterranean and he said that this has helped his confidence when it comes to the sort of freezing conditions that have been seen in France this week.

“It is still very cold and every day colder but we are almost used to that now,” he explained. “I am no longer afraid of racing when it is so cold as it was the case in the past. I believe that my victory in the Mediterranean Tour helped me a lot because I understood there that when you are in good condition the weather doesn’t matter a lot.”

Indeed Wednesday’s start was moved due to a heavy fall of snow, shortening the stage. Valverde feels that Sanchez has a strong chance to do something in the finale, potentially getting closer to yellow or even taking over the race lead.

“The stage will be a more difficult one and team-mate Luis León Sánchez, who won that same stage in Aurillac in the 2008 Tour de France, will certainly be in front again.”

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