Saturday, December 01, 2012

Samu eyes Worlds crown

Samuel Sánchez González has come a long way since joining Orbea's predecessor Olarra-Ercoreca as a fresh-faced, humble 18-year-old back in 1996. Podiums and stages in the Tour and Vuelta, a climber's jersey at the former, multiple stage-winner and overall victor in the Vuelta al País Vasco, the last winner of the Züri Metzgete and of course that Olympic Gold of 2008; his palmarès is as strong as it is diversified. What it obviously lacks though, is a rainbow jersey or a medal at the World Championships - which he of course has come oh so close to on a number of occasions.

Speaking to El Mundo Deportivo, the 34-year-old revealed it's still one of his biggest dreams.

"(To be a world champion) is one of the dreams I have", he said. "I really like the World Championships. I would love to retire with a rainbow jersey. It will be difficult, but I've had the legs for it in past years, and I think I'll have the legs for it for a few years more.

"This year's worlds, to be held in Florence, is very hard and well-suited to the Spanish team. I know they'll do a loop of the circuit in the Giro d'Italia - then we'll really know that it's going to be like", he said, perhaps hinting a return to the Giro - a race he hasn't done since 2005 - is on the cards.

Former Spanish team coach and ex-pro Francisco "Paco" Antequera is currently running for the presidency of the Spanish Cycling Federation, and has stated he'd like to install newly-retired triple world champ Óscar Freire as the coach of the Spanish team if he does go on to win. Samu reveals he'd be pleased to see such a scenario pan out.

"Óscar is the man with the most experience of the world champs, and if he'll be there with Paco Antequera, the man behind Óscar's three triumphs and my Olympic gold, it would be perfect. I hope Antequera does well in the elections, and I've personally called him to wish him luck", he said.

The Euskaltel captain once again revealed he's yet to decide on which Grand Tours to do in 2013, and a decision isn't likely to come before the Vuelta route is unveiled.


Josh Buehner said...

That is a fantastic kit. Great pic!

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