Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sánchez - The Vuelta route draws my attention

With 11 summit finishes spread over three weeks of intense riding, it would be something of a surprise if an Euskaltel rider and Grand Tour specialist was not enticed by the Vuelta a España recorrido presented today in Vigo, Galicia. 'Samu' is of course set to channel his energy on the Giro this spring, but has left his options open for a participation in his team's home three-week race if he isn't feeling up to tackling the might of the Tour in July - just a few weeks after the Giro comes to a close.

A decision on whether or not he'll line up in Spain is therefore quite a few months away, but it appears the route itself won't be the reason if he opts against taking to the start.

"The route draws my attention", he told Teledeporte.

The route is as mentioned heavy on climbing, and the climbers are likely to figure right from the very first day.

"There will be differences created in the first few days", he said. "Team time trials usually takes in 15-20 clicks, but this one is 30 kilometres long. And the first stage doesn't just include a tough ending, it's got a first category climb. Maybe there are not as many explosive climbs as last year, but, in general, it's for sure more climbing."

The recent Vuelta routes have, much like it's Italian equivalent, been accused of being too hard. Sánchez wasn't keen to voice his opinion, at least not straightforwardly, preferring to say "the debate over the route is over when you look at the number of spectators. We are paid to race against each other. I think it's good".

Team head Igor González de Galdeano, who'll team up with his riders at their training camp at the Costa Blanca later today, was rather more direct, though, saying the organizers are taking a big gamble.

"They're taking a risk with so much climbing, so we'll just have to hope it turns out as well as it did this year", he said. "It could be decided too soon though, and that could really block the race. It's a big gamble".

The 34-year-old has yet to decide where and when to start his season, but it's likely to be either at the Vuelta a Andalucía in February or at Tirreno-Adriatico in March. 

Photo: Podium Café

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