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Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
2008 Olympic champion still gunning for a team
Former Olympic road race champion and Tour de France King of the Mountains Samuel Sánchez says that the next few weeks will be crucial in his search for a team in 2014 but that he is hopeful that he will be able to sign for a squad in the next few weeks.
"There is some hope, these days are crucial because there is a possibility [of a team]," Sánchez told Cyclingnews on Thursday. "But we're getting to the point where it's really 'now or never'. This is the last window of opportunity."
Left high and dry when the Euskaltel-Euskadi squad folded and the Basque team's negotiations with the new Fernando Alonso-backed squad failed to work out, Sánchez is working closely with his new manager, former pro Joona Lauka - the first Finnish rider to finish the Tour back in the 1990s - to try and seal the last minute deal .
He is also training hard despite the current rough weather in his native Asturias, often with the only fellow pro in the region, Dani Navarro (Cofidis), for the upcoming season.
"Joona is doing a great job, and things are moving. There is some hope, but if it's not now...it'll be really complicated. I hope we can sign a contract. There may yet be a possibility."