Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tour over Olympics for Samu

For Samuel Sánchez, deciding on whether to focus the most on the Tour de France or the Olympic Games next year was a no-brainer: it's all for the Tour. As he points out in an interview with Teledeporte, pinning everything on one day of success is foolhardy.

"The goal is the Tour. The Olympics are one day of competition: you can't channel your entire season towards one single day. If you fail, it's a disaster", the 2008 Olympic champion stated bluntly.

"I stepped onto the podium on the Champs-Elysées as the winner of the climber's jersey this season. That was quite something. For any cyclist, the Tour is everything. At the Olympics you're wearing the jersey of your country, so the two really are the best you get."

Looking forward to the big day in London this summer, Samu was mindful of the threat posed by one British cyclist in particular - and not the one you may think.

"You have to be aware of the final laps. At the pre-Olympics earlier this year, they didn't go the whole distance. If it turns out too hard, Cavendish will be out of the running. But I do expect Bradley Wiggins to be one of the main favourites", he explained.

Talking of the Tour, the Asturian says he would happily sign up for a repeat performance of 2011. But the overall win is not an option - a fellow countryman has got the GC sewn up already.

"It was a good Tour: we were on the final podium, we won a stage. I'd definitely take a repeat of 2011. I lost the possibility to finish on the podium on the Galibier this year, but hopefully next year I'll be able to avoid a jour sans. I'll fight for the top three. But the victory is already reserved for Contador, who already has some experience in that department", he said, half-jokingly.

Contrary to previous reports, it seems the Euskaltel captain will kick-start his 2012 campaign at the Vuelta a Andalucía, not the Mallorca Challenge, in late February.

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