Sánchez to begin season at Tour du Haut-Var

New BMC signing to target the Ardennes and the Giro d'Italia

Samuel Sánchez is expected to race in his new BMC colours before the end of the month, with a likely debut in France at the two-day Tour du Haut-Var,

Sánchez joined the American team at the beginning of this month, after the sacking of Alessandro Ballan. The rider has kept quiet on his exact calendar, until the team makes it official. However according to various reports, the Spaniard will begin his season on February 22nd in the Tour du Haut-Var.

He is not on the provisional start list on the race’s website but that was released before news of his signing was announced. Sánchez is likely to remain in France and ride the subsequent Classic Sud Ardèche and La Drôme Classic. A report on the Spanish sports website Vavel.com claims Sanchez will take on the Italian one-day races Strade Bianchi and Roma Maxima for the first time. He will then ride the Volta a Catalunya followed by the Vuelta al País Vasco.

His first big goals of the year will be the Ardennes Classics and the Giro d’Italia. Sánchez will provide strong support for Philippe Gilbert, who is looking to find the form that took him to victory at all three Ardennes races, in 2011. He will support Cadel Evans at the Giro d'Italia. Sánchez rode the Corsa Rosa last season, where he finished 12th overall.

It is thought that Sánchez may also compete in his home Grand Tour, la Vuelta a España. Sánchez has taken five top 10 finishes at the race his best result was second in 2009, behind his compatriot Alejandro Valverde.

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