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Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at the start of stage 4.
Thirty-four-year-old considering retirement after Rio Olympic Games
Samuel Sánchez, about to enter his 14th season with Euskaltel-Euskadi, is doubtful that he will start the Tour de France in 2013, despite being eager to wash away the bad memories following his crash on stage 8 which left him with a broken left shoulder blade and a fractured finger on his right hand.
Sánchez, though his race schedule is not yet finalised, believes it most likely that he will contest the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España, but is waiting for confirmation of the latter's route.
"Man, how weird would that be not to race [at the Tour de France]," the Spaniard told biciciclismo. "Now, Wiggins, for example, it is not racing, and he's the current winner. We see that cycling is changing."
The 34-year-old is still working on his rehabilitation in the wake of both his crash at the Tour, which kept him from the Olympic Games and his other major accident at the Tour du Poitou-Charentes.
"I think the best thing would have been to have broken it because if you have a broken collarbone you operate, you put the plate in and three days later you are like new," he said in regards to his second fall. "Look at Rojas who went to the Olympics. I, however, had a very painful dislocation and mentally it was hard. But cycling is. You can go and then you say 'I am human'."
In August, Sánchez re-signed with Euskaltel-Euskadi for a further three seasons which will take him up to the end of 2015. He suggests that his current deal might not be his last with the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero an event which piques his interest but a lot depends on "physical and mental desire."