Despite a troublesome knee and narrowly missing out on Vuelta al País Vasco stage one honours, Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi) remains optimistic for the remainder of the race. The Olympic Games Road Race Champion finished second behind countryman Luis León Sánchez in the Ataun finish.
"It was a shame not to take the victory by half a wheel, but it was important to confirm that that both the team and I are good," Sánchez told Spanish sports daily Marca. "The final descent was dangerous because a few riders fell."
"The Arrate stage will produce a small group of favorites who will contest the race's general classification," he added.
Sánchez will be hoping to be amongst that elite selection, which depends on how a troublesome knee injury progresses. He was optimistic about his chances of overcoming the complaint.
"We need to watch its progression," he explained. "At the moment the knee is holding up well, but we have to see its progression over time. I need sleep, but I have come to this race without stopping. Now I'm fine, but I'm taking it slowly."