Euskaltel's Sánchez recons País Vasco
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Euskaltel's Sánchez recons País Vasco

by Bjorn Haake at 1:37 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Euskaltel-Euskadi's Samuel Sánchez checked out part of the route for the Vuelta al País Vasco (April 5-10) this morning. The Spaniard went over the hot spots of stages one and three, which finish in Zierbena and Amurrio, respectively. Sánchez was able to tackle the key spots together with his Euskaltel teammates who are preparing for the Volta a Catalunya (March 22-28).

The team left Zierbena at noon and covered the 170km in about five hours, including the crucial section of the Valle de Ayala. "The parcours of the Vuelta al País Vasco is always tough," Sánchez said. "There can be a few changes every year, such as a different finish, a different route here and there, but it is always a race on the highest level."

Despite not having ridden it, Sánchez sees stage four as a crucial part in the race. "The finish in Arrate and also the time trial could likely be the judges for the overall." The final stage is a fight against the clock of 22 kilometers, with start and finish in Orio.

Sánchez makes clear that Euskaltel does not want to leave anything to chance in their home race. "It is important to recon the most decisive points of the race and prepare for those as well as possible. It is always better to ride the section, so it is fresh in your memory."

The Basque fans will be watching closely. "It is our race and we have to bring out our best performances for our supporters, and we need to look out for all the details."

The riders who participated in the training with the Olympic Champion were Igor Antón, Aitor Galdos, Ivan Velasco, Jonathan Castroviejo, Gorka Izagirre, Daniel Sesma, Miguel Minguez, Sergio de Lis, Beñat Intxausti and Javier Aramendía.

The Euskaltel team has won the race only once, in 2003 through Iban Mayo. Tony Rominger is the only rider to have it won three times consecutively (1992-1994). The winner of the last two editions, Alberto Contador, could have equaled the Swiss rider this year, but announced recently that he will not defend his title.


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