Samuel Sanchez said races in France and Italy will begin his competition schedule for the BMC Racing Team leading up to his first goal race of the season, Vuelta Ciclista Al Pais Vasco, in his home country.
Debuts In March
The past Olympic road race champion met last week with BMC Racing Team Sporting Manager Allan Peiper and Sport Director Yvon Ledanois at the team’s service course in Belgium. Together, they crafted a program that will see Sánchez make his debut at a pair of French races, Classic Sud Ardèche (March 1) and the Drôme Classic (March 2) before starting Strade Bianche (March 8) and Roma Maxima (March 9) in Italy the following weekend. “These races will give me confidence for racing and allow to me to get to know my teammates and how things work around the team at the races,” Sánchez said. “After those races, I will remain in Tuscany with several teammates for a week-long training camp. I think that’s the best way to prepare for my Spanish debut in Volta Ciclista A Catalunya. That will be a good test before my first goal of the season, Vuelta Ciclista Al Pais Vasco, where I would like to win another stage to add to the seven I have already won.” In addition to those seven stage wins, Sánchez also won Pais Vasco overall in 2012.
Help Evans At The Giro
Peiper said Sánchez will figure prominently in the BMC Racing Team’s racing program in April and May. “Sammy will bring extra depth to our squad for the assault on the Ardennes classics and our bid to win the Giro d’Italia,” Peiper said. “His experience, race intelligence and ability to climb will be of paramount importance in the critical phases of these events where he will support Philippe Gilbert and Cadel Evans.” Sánchez said he is particularly excited for that stretch of racing. “I think with those two guys, we will be one of the best teams,” Sánchez said. He will close his first half of the season by helping Evans aim to better his third-place finish of a year ago at the Giro d’Italia. “I will be close to Evans as much as possible and, if I have the opportunity, I will try to win a stage,” he said. “That would be the cherry on top of my career because I have already won stages at the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.”
View and download rights-free photos of Sánchez from the BMC Racing Team’s Flickr gallery: http://bit.ly/1eTsqUw