Samuel Sánchez confirmed for Tour of Beijing
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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Samuel Sánchez confirmed for Tour of Beijing

by Ben Atkins at 10:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Olympic champion to return to the scene of his gold medal triumph

samuel sanchezSamuel Sánchez (Euskatel-Euskadi) has confirmed that he will be on the start line of the Tour of Beijing, the latest addition to the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour calendar, when he will return to the scene of his 2008 Olympic triumph. The Spanish rider’s took the gold medal in the road race, as a member of a five-man breakaway, outsprinting Italian Davide Rebellin – who has since been disqualified for doping – and Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara.

“To be Olympic champion is the most beautiful thing that can happen to an athlete in the exercise of their activity,” said Sánchez. “You’re a global player, and that has an incalculable impact.”

“For me it means so much to return to where I was crowned Olympic champion,” he explained. “It was a very demanding race, with a very hard course and a spectacular goal; a beautiful place. The fight for the medals was very intense and I got an incredible victory that marked a before and after in my professional life.”

Sánchez, who finished sixth in the Tour de France, winning the stage to Luz-Ardiden and taking the mountains jersey, will be just one of the big names in the Euskaltel-Euskadi team. Many of those names are currently racing the Vuelta a España, including Igor Antón, Mikel Nieve and Amets Txurruka.

While Sánchez’ presence is doubtless a big coup for the race organisers, as well as an emotional return for the rider, he might find the race a little flat to challenge for the overall victory. Stage three, between Men Tao Gou and Yong Ning will provide the biggest climbs of the race, while the next stage, between Yanquing Gui Chuan Square and the Shunyi Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre will climb to the Great Wall, where Sánchez took his great triumph.

The race will run for five stage, beginning on October 5th with an 11.3km time trial from the Bird’s Nest Stadium to the Water Cube in central Beijing.

Euskaltel-Euskadi team for the Tour of Beijing:
Igor Antón, Mikel Astarloza, Pierre Cazaux, Jon Izaguirre, Mikel Nieve, Alan Perez, Samuel Sánchez, Romain Sicard and Amets Txurruka.

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