By Antonio J. Salmerón
Mallorca Challenge winner Luis León Sánchez may be seen as the favourite for the ongoing stage race Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana (February 27-March 3), but the timid youngster himself preferred to point at his teammate Alejandro Valverde for the overall win.
"There is a decisive final stage up the Campello climb, and that is beyond my possibilities at the moment," the Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears rider admitted. "I sincerely think that Alejandro Valverde should be taken into account, because this final stage is good for him. My objectives are further down the road, perhaps Paris-Nice, or the Criterium International. In the Tour, it will be necessary to help Pereiro and Valverde. Sáiz always told me that it's not good to assume responsibilities so young."
The 23 year-old still thinks highly of his former team manager at Liberty Seguros, Manolo Sáiz. "I owe him a lot, mainly because he trusted me and gave me the opportunity to start in the professional category when others said that I wasn't ready for that," León Sanchez said. Commenting about the team change, he added, "What happened is nothing different from what I used to do. Caisse d'Epargne-Illes asked me for my racing calendar, and I decided not to change it with respect to what I did before. I worked very hard to prepare this season, so that, in the Challenge de Mallorca the opportunity of winning appeared and I was lucky."
Taking a humble approach is fits perfectly with the Spaniard's character. Asked about his chances of performing well in the Classics, the replied, "People talk too much. I don't deny that I could do well, but I have to gain many experience before that. In this sense, I'm lucky being next to Valverde and Pereiro..."