Monday, October 01, 2012

Sánchez sets sights on Giro

Euskaltel's best rider may not be lining up in the world's biggest race next year. In the team permits him, Samuel Sánchez says he'll forego the Grand Boucle in favour of a tilt at the Giro d'Italia podium.

Granted, Samu's comments are not likely to surprise anyone - he's aired the idea of skipping next year's Tour for some time already. But speaking at yesterday's unveiling of the Giro route, the 34-year-old seemed to have his mind firmly set on taking on the Italian GT for the first time since 2005.

"If it's okay with the team, I'd like to be at the Giro d'Italia next year", Samu, looking as dapper as ever as pictured above, said, according to BiciCiclismo. "I have two podium placings in the Vuelta and one in the Tour, and I have won five stages in the former and one in the latter. All I'm lacking is a podium and a stage in the Giro."

The balanced parcours presented yesterday by Michele Acquarone and the guys over at RCS Sport is likely to have whetted Samu's appetite, and he he wasn't alien to the idea of doubling up with another tilt at his home three-week race later on in the season as well.

"It might be the year for doing both the Giro and the Vuelta", he said. "There's enough time in between the two to rest and recuperate for the Vuelta later on".

If Samu indeed is to channel his energy on the two "lesser" Grand Tours, the stage is likely to be set for one, or perhaps both, of the team's other GT leaders to give the Tour de France a go. Antón has in the past been playing with the idea of returning to France after his ill-fated debut in 2009, while the traditionally longer and steadier mountains of the Tour might suit Nieve to a tee - if the time trial kilometres are kept to a minimum, that is. Neither of the riders have spoken of their 2013 objectives though as of yet and, considering it's still up in the air if the team will be a part of the WorldTour next season or not, such talk might be a bit premature.

Photo: Bettini


arnout said...

If Sanchez promises to do the Giro, the Giro organizers will invite Euskaltel without doubt.

I would love to see him in the Giro, and combined with the Vuelta it would be something else again. I like it that Samu pursues some different goals every season, but the last few years have been about the Tour. Time for a change, although I will understand any decision coming from him. Most likable guy in the peloton by a margin.

Magnus said...

Totally agree with all you're saying!


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