Monday, August 13, 2012

"I'm back sooner than I expected"

Samuel Sánchez will ramp up his recovery from injuries sustained in the Tour de France by pinning on a start number tomorrow in San Sebastián. Samu will forego the Vuelta in an attempt to peak for the late-season classics and the Worlds in Valkenburg, and says he's back in the saddle earlier than he had expected.

"My hand still hurts a little", he told el Diario Vasco. "I had an x-ray taken a couple of days ago and you could see that calluses had started to form already. I feel a little bit of discomfort when I hit a small bump in the road, but I'll be fine quickly. I have no trouble breaking or shifting through the gears. I'm back in competition earlier than what I had expected".

Samu has famously come close to winning the Clásica San Sebastián on a number of occasions, only to come up short each time. While the race is undoubtedly suited to him, he doesn't expect to feature at the head of proceedings tomorrow after such a long hiatus.

"I've only been training on the road for ten days. I'm short on kilometres and form, but I have to return to racing now if I want to be in shape for the Worlds and for the closing part of the season. For me, there's no better training than racing. I'll be happy if I manage to finish the race and help out a team-mate at the head of the race. I'll do whatever the team wants me to do. I can't have too big expectations before the race with only ten days of training in my legs. If you are to win the Clásica, you need to have top, top form.

"After the Clásica, I'll ride the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Germany, the Tour de Poitou Charentes and the Tour of Britain. Those eight days of racing will be good for me to refind my "rhythm". I hope to go on to the World Championships and do a full calendar of races towards the end of the season, including Piemonte, Lombardia and the races in China."

The 34-year-old says he's looking forward to the Basque Country's biggest one-day race, and says everything's set for an open and exciting race.

"I don't think the race will be a very controlled one - unlike last year, when everyone knew it would be impossible to beat Gilbert. A group might reach the finish line together. There's no clear favourite. The difference between the riders will be pretty small, and that's the big difference in respect to last year."

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Sadly the Tour of Britain skirts all around where I live (B'ham) so I won't be able to go and give the lads a cheer...


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