Samuel Sánchez will target races in France and Italy to begin his tenure with BMC as he builds for his first goal of the 2014 season, Vuelta Ciclista Al Pais Vasco, in his home country. Having met with Team Sporting Manager Allan Peiper and Sport Director Yvon Ledanois at the team's service course in Belgium, Sánchez’s early racing program was mapped out.
Sánchez will line up at two 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."
Sánchez is also a former overall winner of Pais Vasco after he triumphed in the race back in 2012.
After building form and condition along with gaining a better understanding of how BMC operates in races, 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."
The addition of Sánchez to the team will bolster Evans' attempt to claim his second grand tour win to add to his 2011 Tour de France and 2008 Olympic champion is looking forward to helping out.
"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."
With Gilbert also on the team, Sánchez said that he believes BMC can excel in 2014. "I think with those two guys, we will be one of the best teams,"