Sammy Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) finished 40 seconds down on stage winner Leopold Konig
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Veteran focused only on the race
Samuel Sánchez admits he has no idea what his future holds.
The 35-year-old is currently riding the last hurrah for Euskaltel Euskadi at the Vuelta a España. After nine stages, he sits 4:30 behind general classification leader Daniel Moreno (Katusha) and his fifth placing on Sunday's stage was his best result of the grand tour so far.
"I'm trying to live through this one like it was just another race," Sánchez told Reuters.
"We're riders for Euskaltel-Euskadi until December 31st and we have to be professional right up until the last day.
"But what's clear is this team has been a reference point in the history of cycling and it is going to be remembered as one of the most important the sport has ever had."
Euskaltel Euskadi remains the only team that Sanchez has ridden for since turning professional in 2000.
"I've always defended the orange colours and I'd like to have retired with them too," the 35 year-old said. "But if I'm worried about the future, what we have to do is worry about the Vuelta for now.
"We can't let the situation affect us, that's why we're paid to race."
The final grand tour of 2013 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. A poor second stage likely robbed Sánchez, the team's leader, of reaching the top of the podium.