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Sánchez and Evans to lead BMC at Vuelta a España

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 20, 2014, 8:40 BST,
Updated:
August 20, 2014, 8:53 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Race:
Vuelta a España
Sammy Sanchez and Cadel Evans rode their first race as teammates at Haut Var

Sammy Sanchez and Cadel Evans rode their first race as teammates at Haut Var

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Gilbert and Dennis also selected for Spanish grand tour

Having ridden the Giro d'Italia together in May, Cadel Evans and Samuel Sánchez will line up at the Vuelta a España as the two-leaders for BMC Racing Team.

The Vuelta could possibly be the last grand tour of Evans' career with the 37-year-old yet to announce whether he will continue for another season in 2015. However, 42-year-old Chris Horner proved last year that age is no barrier to winning the Vuelta. 

Having supported Evans in May when the Australian finished eighth overall, Sánchez will be a protected rider in the Vuelta where he has twice finished on the podium and won five stages.

2012 world champion Philippe Gilbert will be the third protected rider in the squad and the Belgian is looking to match his performance of last year when he won in Tarragona wearing the rainbow jersey.

"One year ago, Philippe had to undergo an operation for a knee injury after the Eneco Tour," said sports director Yvon Ledanois. "He didn't start the Vuelta in full capacity. Yet he managed to win a stage and ride well at the world championship [Gilbert was ninth]. But this time around, he'll arrive in Spain in a much better condition and some stages suit him really well."

The team's goal for the final grand tour of 2014 is to have both Evans and Sánchez perform well on the GC.

Evans enters the race having won two stages at the Tour of Utah, while Sánchez's last race was the Tour de Pologne where he was 12th overall.

"Our ambition is to get the best possible overall result with either Cadel or Samuel," Ledanois said. "Both have recovered well from the Giro. They aren't the favourites for the Vuelta since three riders look stronger on paper: Chris Froome, Joaquim Rodriguez who came out of the Tour de France with a great condition, and Nairo Quintana who has to do well in what is Movistar's main goal of the year.

"If the three of them are at 100% of their capacities, they'll have to handle the responsibilities in the race. But at the Vuelta, experience prevails. Cadel and Samuel are classy riders and they have that kind of experience likely to make a difference in special circumstances. Samuel knows all the roads in Spain, even the most hidden ones."

Evans wore the race leader's jersey in 2009 when he finished third overall which is the last time he rode the Vuelta. In 11 of the 17 grand tours that Evans has ridden, he has finished in the top ten overall.

Rohan Dennis, who transferred from Garmin-Sharp on August third, will make his Vuelta debut for the team. Dennis is one of three 24-year-old selected for the race alongside Dominik Nerz and Larry Warbasse, and Ledanois is expecting his young riders to shine.

"We've chosen strong riders who are on form at the right time to perform at the Vuelta," he said.

BMC Racing Team for the Vuelta a España: Rohan Dennis, Cadel Evans, Philippe Gilbert, Steve Morabito, Dominik Nerz, Manuel Quinziato, Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez, Larry Warbasse and Danilo Wyss.

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