Samuel Sanchez: “It’s always a matter of pride to be on the podium in Paris”
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Friday, July 22, 2011

Samuel Sanchez: “It’s always a matter of pride to be on the podium in Paris”

by Ben Atkins at 5:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 
Olympic champion misses out on a second stage victory but has the consolation of the polka-dot jersey

samuel sanchezSamuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) just missed out on a second stage victory in this year’s Tour de France, as he was dropped in the final kilometres by Pierre Rolland (Europcar). The Olympic champion, who won stage twelve to Luz-Ardiden, effectively dropped out of overall contention as he was dropped on the Col du Galibier in yesterday’s stage, but was chasing another prestigious result.

“On the climb of Alpe d’Huez, Alberto went first then I followed a little later and I took Pierre Rolland with me, but didn’t manage to win the stage,” he explained afterwards. “This morning I first wanted to see if I had recovered well from yesterday’s stage, which was a bad day for me.”

Although he missed out on his second stage though, the 32 mountains points he picked up on the line lifted him over polka-dot jersey holder Jelle Vanendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto). With no climbs left in the race, Sanchez will wear the jersey in Paris on Sunday.

“It is always matter of pride to be on the podium in Paris,” he said. “And I now wear a jersey with some prestige; it’s a victory for me and for my team. I take it as a reward for all the work that has been done on this Tour. Now I think back and I’ll see what state I am tomorrow for the race again the clock, and with what aim.”

Sanchez started this year’s Tour with the aim of bettering his fourth place of last year. He currently sits in sixth place, heading into the final time trial, with a possibility of moving a place in either direction, depending on his performance, but with the jersey and stage victory he has had a good race. He also had a good word to say about his adversary in the mountains classification, who he rode with – then denied victory to – on the road up to Luz-Ardiden.

“If I must take stock, it is far from negative,” he said “I’ve won a beautiful stage to Luz Ardiden, taken the polka-dot jersey and I finished in the top 10 of the Tour de France.

“I think Jelle Vanendert had a bad time on the ascent of the Galibier, but he will be a true force to be considered in the coming years.”

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