Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Samu interview transcript

Noticias de Álava (N) carried an interesting interview with team captain Samuel Sánchez this morning. Here's a transcript of parts of it:

N: Before the Tour, the ritual for every rider is to go to a hair salon and get his hair cut short.

S: We all do. Any cyclist you talked to last week would have told you he'd just cut his hair or was about to. It's because of the warmth and the comfort. Imagine to ride a month with long hair.

N: In your case, isn't it also about the image you want to project? You care a lot about how you look.

S: One thing is the image one projects to the outside world, but I also care a lot about my image as a person. But I like it myself. And, of course, my wife like it too.

N:  When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

S: A person aging little by little. The years go by, also for me. I see a face and a body weary from a career on the bike.

N: And what do you see when you look out the window?

S: I see the the miners' banners. It's not good. In Asturias, a lot of people make their living from mining.  In the 60s there were demonstrations, roadblocks and clashes with the police for three months. I think we're going down the same road now. The miners are fighters. They fight for what is theirs. They don't give up.

N: Cycling is also troubled.

S: As everything is. It costs to go ahead. In Spain you've got the best cyclists in the world, but only two top teams. Races are disappearing, and there's few races for the children, juniors and the sub-23s as well. Yes, things are complicated.

N: But at least Euskaltel will stay on.

S: So it seems. We'll see in what manner, and if we can agree to stay together.

N: What type of team do you want?

S: A team with no drastic changes. I think changing a lot of things around would be bad. There's no need to change the things that are working well.

N: You've come to the Tour without a renewed contract. That's what you said you didn't want to happen.

S: What I wanted was that, if I hadn't signed, that at least the facts were on the table. I now know that the team will continue, and that they're counting on me.

N: The team continues, and you'll stay on.

S: I have to study the offers on the table first, but now I'm focused on the Tour. The future's on track, I'm not worrying about it.

N: While you were waiting for Euskaltel, did you sign for another team?

S: No, it's too early. You can't sign contracts in April. Besides, I feel I'm morally indebted to the team and to Miguel Madariaga.

N: You say you're now focussing on the Tour, but the fall in the Dauphiné could have ruined everything. Is there any trace of the injury on your back?

S: I'm not in pain when I'm riding, when I'm sleeping or when I'm moving. But if you touch it with your finger, it'll hurt somewhat. But I'm much better now. And, above all, I'm happy, as it could have been the last straw. I think I was lucky, because when I saw the MRI a week afterwards, at home, I was scared. The radiologists asked me how I managed to finish a race like the Dauphiné in that state.

N: Talking of the Tour, how much does that crash mean?

S: We'll see later on. For now, today, I'm fine. The body of a cyclist has a lot of resilience.  


arnout said...

Interesting personality. Nice to read he feels he is still indebted to Miguel and the team. I don't agree with that, I think the team can thank him for surviving the last 5 years, but nice to read nevertheless.

He also sounds like he has quite a dark and philosophical side.

Magnus said...

I couldn't agree more. Euskaltel are indebted to Samu, not really the other way around anymore after all these years. One can only wonder what he could have achieved at a bigger team.


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