Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sánchez: "I'm pain free"

Samu's crash and subsequent struggles in the Dauphiné left a lot of people worried Euskaltel's Tour de France was over before it had even started. He got through the entire race though, and, speaking to www.as.com, the team captain brought reassuring news just four days before the big kick-off.

"I'm free of pain", the 34-year-old said. "I'm not at 100 percent just yet, but I've been training well".

Samu has just concluded 22 days of altitude training in the Sierra Nevada, and will head for Liège from Oviedo tomorrow. He ended up fifth last year after the disqualification of pal Alberto Contador, and hopes to go a few places better this time around.

"I got third overall after Contador was removed from the standings in 2010, but this time I want to grab that podium place by myself. Everyone would love to win, show themselves, be a the top... but it's really difficult. I'd love to shine and bask in glory. The Tour gives you that possibility, and that's what I'm after. I'd like to finish the race knowing that I've given it my utmost."

With Contador and Andy Schleck out of the picture for different reasons, the road to the podium may never have been so open for the Asturian. Yet Samu is deploring the loss of the eternal rivals.

"It's a loss for cycling, for the Tour and for us that they won't be present. I love the way Alberto and Andy ride, the way they try to shake things up in the mountains. Their absence is not a positive. You lose some of the spectacle without the two best climbers. And, yes, it might turn into conservative racing. With the potential Sky possess, it's only natural that they'll try to control affairs and make the difference in the time trials. They're strong in the cronos race after race, and they're able to defend themselves well on the climbs. Everyone's pointing to Evans as the number one favourite - he knows what it takes to win - but my top candidate is Bradley Wiggins".

But what exactly does a professional rider take with him for three weeks in France?

"I'll bring my laptop -  I always do. In addition, I'll bring my pajamas, some underwear, a book on fitness and nutrition, the pillow I use at home, and some music".



arnout said...

"I'd love to shine and basque in glory"

Hehe Freudian slip Magnus?

Thanks for the translation and the good news!

Magnus said...

Haha, most definitely a Freudian slip! Looks kind of cool though.

arnout said...

Correction: looks really cool. I was laughing out loud when I read it.

azanca02 said...

If Samu is in top form than there is no reason that he can't beat both Evans and Wiggins. Naturally he is a better climber and he is a better descender than Wiggins. Evans is pretty fast down hill. The team will have to do work to really isolate Wiggins from his team once they hit the mountains.

Kristof said...

You see it really positive:-) Guess there will be more sky's in the front of the peletons then Euskaltels...

Bolsen3 said...

Sky look really strong, I think Samu will be isolated long before Wiggins anyway...

Magnus said...

I'm partly with Azanca on this one. Better climber and better descender than Wiggins, but he'll lose some minutes in the time trials. An Evans in top shape is an equally good climber, and he'll probably best Samu in the crono. My biggest worry is the team though. Sky and BMC both look pretty formidable, at least Sky


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