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BMC signs Samuel Sanchez

By:
Alasdair Fotheringham
Published:
February 2, 08:04,
Updated:
February 2, 08:22
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, February 3, 2014
Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in time trial mode

Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in time trial mode

  • Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in time trial mode
  • Spain's Samuel Sanchez in relaxed mood at the 2012 Tour de France
  • Spanish stars Samuel Sanchez and Alejandro Valverde before the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian
  • Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha),  Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Samuel Sanchez

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Spaniard signs last minute contract with American squad

BMC have announced on their website that they have signed 2008 Olympic champion and Tour podium finisher Samuel Sánchez. Sánchez was on the hunt for a team since his prior Euskaltel-Euskadi announced they were folding last year.

Whilst admitting that he was close to throwing in the towel after weeks of searching, Sánchez had hinted strongly to Cyclingnews last week that a possible deal, brokered by his manager Joona Lauka, was on the cards. However he had not revealed details of which squad it could be.

Whilst details of the agreement between the 35-year-old and the American squad have not been released, Sánchez’ objectives will be to hit top form for the Ardennes Classics and the Grand Tours. Sánchez has finished seven times in the top ten of a Grand Tour, with a second place in the 2009 Vuelta and a third in the 2010 Tour.

"I feel like a rider who has just earned his first contract," Sánchez said on the team’s website. "I want to thank the entire BMC Racing Team, especially Andy Rihs and Jim Ochowicz, for welcoming me into one of the most prominent teams of the WorldTour. It is my hope that I can share my experience with the younger riders on the team. And after riding so many years to beat Cadel Evans, it will be good to help him since he is a rider I know very well."

Sanchez's arrival comes just over a week after Alessandro Ballan was fired from the team after the Italian was handed a two year supsension for doping.

"Sammy will add a high degree of skill and experience to the BMC Racing Team," Jim Ochowicz said.

"He can cover all the bases, but in particular, we look forward to having him support his new teammates in the Ardennes classics and at the grand tours."
 

bike_boy 6 months ago
Thats a fantastic signing! hope he makes the tour team.
Lord.Bachus 6 months ago
Offcourse... But then there is so much more in a cycling seazon then just the Tour... I am happy he found a team, and wondering what great prommissing riders are still looking for a team?
jozzaCH 6 months ago
Many of the Saur riders possibly? They may have been signed by other French teams though
Max Headwind 6 months ago
Interesting. This latest move continues to signal a change in BMC's approach to racing and team philosophy this season. It will be fun to see how this plays out for Och's boys.
rastymick 6 months ago
He may even be #1 for the Tour team
Rhapsody 6 months ago
Fantastic!
qwerty 6 months ago
surprise surprise!
TShame 6 months ago
I'm actually happier to hear this than Horner's contract.
James Silva 6 months ago
I'd be totally flabbergasted if BMC doesn't have a great 2014. ¡Venga Sanchéz!
jonjungel 6 months ago
So he's a support-rider now? Surely a rider of his calibre deserves some mention of where he will get his own chances.
andrew1991 6 months ago
Well he did lack results in 2013, got top 10s in Dauphine, Burgos and Vuelta, but no more than that (9th and 8th if I am not mistaken), so its normal that he has to prove that he is still good enough if he hopes to be one of the leaders. He will probably lead the team in Volta a Catalunya and Vuelta al Pais Vasco, depending on his performances he might have a free role/leadership in the Ardennes, but Evans should be the team leader in the classics. In my opinion he should focus on Catalunya and Pais Vasco (Ardennes as well) and then prepare the Vuelta and the Worlds. PS: San Remo also suits him.
Cance > TheRest 6 months ago
If thats the case, Sanchez still managed to perform better than most of BMC's GT leaders. TJVG only won ToC, but failed big time in the TDF, where he was far from any kind of succes. I think Sanchez should be prioritized higher than TJVG in the GT's, since he actually did prove last year that he's a good GC rider.
jim.bridges77 6 months ago
TJ won tour of Cali and Colorado....just sayin :)
Cance > TheRest 6 months ago
Technically "ToC" refers to Tour of Colorado and Tour of California (although I was only thinking about California at the time I wrote it). Still that doesn't change that TJVG failed in TdF last year and Sanchez did better in his GT attempts.
Rice Daddy 6 months ago
Horner better GT rider than both of 'em. Just sayin.' Och looked at the bio passport and "liked" what he saw. ;)
Cance > TheRest 6 months ago
Horner? He has nothing to do with BMC. What are you referring to?
philjthommo 6 months ago
We will see how he goes throughout the year but it is very unlikely in this climate for sammy to come begging to a team and expect leadership status.
lastplacerider 6 months ago
Agree. He'll need to earn his way into a leadership position. I like this signing. He could back up either TJ or Evans in the GT's or step in if one of them falters.
dsotherby 6 months ago
I don't see that happening. Sammy didn't even have a contract and then, out of the blue, you'd select him as leader of BMC at the TdF? I think that's a stretch. TvG has continued an upward progression and it's wise to invest in his prospects. BMC has done well with his race program and has not put too much pressure on him. He'll need to bring it up another level this year, but it would be shortsighted to throw in the towel after one bad July. I do think Sammy is a great edition, super excited about that, but I think he needs to find is place in the team (which I'm sure he'll do very quickly). PS: he won the ToC and the US Pro Challenge (no, the ToC is not short for the Tour of Colorado -- there is no Tour of Colorado).
cantpedal 6 months ago
I believe they need to find out if TJVG has what it takes in a GT. If not its time for them to start looking with Evans and Sanchez approaching retirement.
Lord.Bachus 6 months ago
Evans is too old... Gilbert offcourse should be the leader in the classics, and since Gilbert will not ride the Vlaanderen Classics, he will be the BMC man to watch in the Ardennes classics.. And Evans... he might be a good backup for Sanchez and the other GC riders in the tour
DirtTurtle 6 months ago
Evans is too Old, Sanchez is almost exactly one year younger + far more gifted to win Grand Tours.
DirtTurtle 6 months ago
*I meant only 1 year younger but Evans is far more gifted.
Cance > TheRest 6 months ago
I wouldn't say that Evans is far more gifted than Sanchez as a GT rider, perhaps a little bit only for 2 reasons: 1. Sanchez' inconsistent time trials 2. GT's like TdF just doesnt suit Sanchez, due to lack of bad weather, short descent finishes etc. Keep in mind that when both om these 2 riders topped careerwise, they did not always focus the same races, meaning that a comparison is hard to make. If we look at GT results, they have both had their share of the cake: Sanchez: 8 top 10 GT results including 3 podium finishes. Evans: 10 top 10 GT results including 1 win and 4 additional podiums. Overall, both have an impressive GT palmares, but it's wrong to say that Sanchez is a far less gifted GC rider than Evans.
TANK91 6 months ago
Cance Sanchez has 1 GT podium not 3
leftbehind 6 months ago
No, Tank91 - he has 3 podiums as Cance said 2010 Tour de France - 3rd 2009 Vuelta a Espana - 2nd 2007 Vuelta a Espana - 3rd
jim.bridges77 6 months ago
Im more inclined to think that Evans may do some classics but it will be more of a build up for the Giro. If he wins thats great but there wont be pressure on him like Gilbert to perform. Gilbert is the king of the Ardennes classics for BMC. I think Sanchez could play a super-domestique role helping Evans win the Giro. If Sanchez's legs are still good for the Tour then he could be another card to play if TJ isnt in top form. He is an interesting pick for BMC. Sky has Porte, Astana has Scarponi, and BMC has Sanchez all of which are either super-domestiques or out-right winners in certain races. This year is going to be really interesting.
Pedal Pusher 6 months ago
I'm with you JIm. Sanchez said, "And after riding so many years to beat Cadel Evans, it will be good to help him since he is a rider I know very well." Reckon Sanchez will ride the Giro with Evans. BMC already have Stetina & Atapuma riding well in the mountains, prob for TJ at the TDF. Reckon BMC realised that Evans early form is v promising and they need to support him with more mountain riders.Ballan did well in the classics so now he is gone there a space for Sanchez as a support in both Classics and GT espec climbing. BMC team is now looking way more competitive. TJ is rarely in top form unless its a 7 days race in which he usually gets an armchair ride. Hell a TDF team of Evans, Sanchez, Stetina, Atupuma, Burghardt, Bookwalter, Morabito, Quinziato and either Moinard Schar or Wyss would be competitive with any other TDF team. Maybe Sanchez will do the giro and then be the GT leader at La Vuelta. Cant wait to see the BMC team supporting Evans at the Giro - it looks like is going to be more than a BMC B team now.
marcello 6 months ago
should be fun to watch Horner drop Evans on every Giro mountain stage
adanpinto 6 months ago
or Quintana droping both of them
doctornurse 6 months ago
Yep- I am with this line of logic- I think that in this clean(er) era SKY (Froome, then Porte), Saxo/Tinkoff (Roche), Astana (Scarponi) has shown us the incredible value of the reliable superdomestique in the GT's, especially when the leader has the bad day that all clean athletes seem to have these days 9as opposed to the bulletproof 3 weeks in the USPS era. Further, Katusha (Moreno)/Movistar (Costa and Inxausti) Garmin (Hesjedal) has shown us the utility of the same in one day races. BMC needed a solid wingman to protect their number 1's who everyone MUST respect as a potential race winner- Its classic bike tactics really... BMC have said that they need to up their game this season and get more wins. I am not sure what SS race programme is, but I think that Cadel is at his best when he is able to relax and ride his race, and for THAT to happen, he needs to have some solid legs on th team to protect him in the high mountains. TJVG is a young buck with lots of potential and could also use awise pair of legs to help him with his racecraft. SS is HIGHLY motivated, hungry and grateful- All good things in a bike racer. This is a superb signing, and I hope tha BMC sees some good results, given SS obvious quality
Cance > TheRest 6 months ago
Why do you think it's cleaner now than back in the USPS days? Not saying it isn't, but just curious, since the GC stars had off-days aswell back in the 2000-2005 days. I dont think it's an argument. In fact the focus was more concentraded on TdF for Ullrich and Armstrong, and they didn't top all year round like some of this "new" eras GC stars do...
Strydz 6 months ago
Gilbert leads at the classics not Evans but yeah the spanish races suit Sanchez and maybe letting him have a crack at the Vuelta
Ziraffe 6 months ago
With all the talent at BMC, the giro and tour are already assigned. Sanchez can shine in one week races like Tirreno-Adriacto or volta ciclista al pais vasco, etc. But I think he should see some roads on the Vuelta this year. This guy deserves a grand tour victory.
agostinho 6 months ago
Great news. However, I feel sorry for Gorka Verdugo, who rode his entire life in support of Samuel Sánchez and now can't find a spot.
Chromking 6 months ago
I think he will serve as super-domestique in most races. But he will get at least two chances as a leader. I think he will get his own chance in the Vuelta as a captain. I mean, he was there for the presentation. I think he will be the leader in Pais Vasco as well.
Pedal Pusher 6 months ago
Chrimking - agree Captain at la Vuelta and Pais Vasco and support for Evans at the Giro. Brilliant recruitment by BMC.
wheel chaser 6 months ago
Great sign, it was hard to believe he was out there this long.
movingtarget 6 months ago
Evans riding for Sanchez. Right. Sanchez has done so well in GTs lately. Was not expecting this but he probably took a pay cut but at least is not riding for a continental team. Hopefully he can find some form.
CyclingsChanged 6 months ago
What a joke. Ballan out another shady character in......
FabiquesAnquetillara 6 months ago
Shady? Samuel Sanchez has spotless reputation. Never linked to anything shady.
Luke Morris 6 months ago
There has never been anything to even suggest that Samuel Sanchez has had any kind of shady dealings throughout his career.
Teddy Allen 6 months ago
are you thinking of Luis Sanchez?
Flower5000 6 months ago
Yeah ... CyclingsChanged, can you maybe expand on that comment? What makes Samuel Sanchez so shady? For those of use who have been "lurking" around CN for nearly 20 years now it's kind of getting tiresome to read so many negative comments that seem to be rather baseless. If you have some dirt on the guy or can provide something in the way of a reason to call Sanchez a shady character you should probably include that with your comment. Otherwise it's just another "troll-like" comment that doesn't really add anything to these posts. If you have something to share, that's great, but if not ... maybe spare the rest of us.
TANK91 6 months ago
Sorry ifit sounds im trolling but 20 yrs is a strectch no? Never new cycling news had a comment function that long
Sykhrzon 6 months ago
Helper, is that all? No freedom? Sanchez is normally a better climber than Evans and Tejay. He should at least lead the Vuelta.
dustymiller 6 months ago
a better climber than evans, hardly.but over 3 weeks not even close
Sykhrzon 6 months ago
Come on. Sanchez has always strongest in the third week, Cadel is not. The Aussie is on the other hand way more powerful in the first two weeks. Sanchez is the same type of rider as Nibali, a real hardman.
Sykhrzon 6 months ago
is always*
Pedal Pusher 6 months ago
It would be great to see Sanchez as BMC team leaded for La Vuelta. But his results don't support him being a better climber than Evans. Evans: • TDF 1st, two 2nd, one 4th, one 7th one 8th • Giro 3rd and 5th • La Vuelta 3rd and 4th Sanchez: • TDF 3rd 5th 6th • Giro highest finish 12th • La Vuelta 2nd 3rd 7th 8th 10th
movingtarget 6 months ago
There you go. For all the talk about Sanchez being a better rider than Evans the results don't back it up. He is a good rider but not a great one. His Olympic Gold was his best result but he will be a good rider for BMC and maybe will even get a few chances to ride for himself. Actually he is quite similar to Evans. Both are excellent descenders and very good climbers and TT riders. Of later years Evans seems to be the better TT rider while Sanchez is the more attacking and aggressive rider.
abs666 6 months ago
Congats Sammy from Orange to Red!