Igor Antón and Mikel Nieve will headline Euskaltel's Tour de France charge this summer, but they might yet be joined by their team leader and icon Samuel Sánchez.
The 35-year-old has earmarked the Giro d'Italia, set to commence this upcoming Saturday in Naples, as his main goal of 2013, but his plans post-Giro are yet to be decided upon.
Speaking at a press-conference at the team's headquarters in Derio, Biscay, 'Samu' kept his cards close to his chest.
"Of course I'm not ruling out the Tour de France", he said. "But right now I'm only thinking about the Giro d'Italia. When the Giro is done with, we'll figure out what I'll do next".
Team manager Igor González de Galdeano says an appearance at the Grand Boucle in July partly hinges on his performance in Italy.
"If he reaches his goals in Italy, being at the top of his game, winning a stage or being in the fight for the top overall placings that is, I'd say it's more reasonable he rests up and prepares for the Vuelta a España. But first of all, let's see what happens at the Giro. But I think he'll need a break afterwards anyway, as many of those who go to the Tour after doing the Giro end up completely fatigued. There are plenty of goals for 'Samu' after the Giro - why not go for the win at the World Championships?"
If Sánchez does opt to forego the Tour, he says his team-mates will have their chance to shine without him.
"It's time to look towards Italy and let the younger generation get to know the essence of the Tour without a leader. It's a golden opportunity for them", he concluded.
Photo: Iñaki Azanza