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Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel) and Ivan Basso (Cannondale)
Team sends top climbers to challenge
Samuel Sánchez will lead a strong Euskaltel Euskadi team into next week’s Vuelta a Espana. The former Olympic champion will ride alongside Igor Antón, Mikel Nieve, Egoi Martínez, Gorka Verdugo, Jorge Azanza, Juanjo Oroz, Pablo Urtasun and Mikel Landa.
The final grand tour of 2013 also marks the team’s final attempt at winning a three week stage race with the sponsor set to end their long association with the professional ranks at the end of the season.
In July the team notified their riders that they could pursue new opportunities with other teams, but with the Vuelta fast approaching Euskaltel have one final chance to compete in their home Tour.
Sanchez skipped the Tour de France this year after competing in the Giro and he will lead the team’s overall ambitions.
Team director and former Vuelta podium placer, Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, said, “We have a leader who already knows how to reach the podium. Anton and Nieve are two climbers, important climbers as well.”
“The goal must be to be to fight for the win at the Vuelta and our challenge has to be to try to be in the fight until the end.”
“Samuel already knows how to fight for the win at a Grand Tour, and in 2009 he finished less than one minute down on the winner. We have to show our best side and go to the maximum."
The Vuelta begins on August 24 with a 27km team time trial between Vilanova de Arousa and Sanxenxo,