Euskaltel Euskadi chasing stage wins as Dauphiné heads into the mountains
Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel Euskadi), 2011 Tour de France mountains classification winner, will miss this year's 100th edition of the race.
The Spaniard failed to live up to expectations at the Giro d'Italia last month, eventually finishing 12th overall. With his form questionable, the team today announced that Sánchez will not be on the start line in Corsica for the next grand tour.
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano, Euskaltel Euskadi general manager said that it would be "impossible to see the best" of Sánchez should he race the Tour de France and that the 35-year-old will be instead focused on the back end of the season. Sánchez has traditionally performed more consistently at the Vuelta a España and has five stage wins to his name, whereas he has only been riding the Tour since 2010.
"We've been talking and he confessed that it has finished the corsa rosa very tired, both due to the maximum stress of preparation and the race itself, which has been very hard," said Gonzalez de Galdeano in a statement on the team website.
Once Sánchez completes the Critérium du Dauphiné this Sunday, he will then rest before returning to racing at a date yet to be determined.
"Samuel is a great leader," said Gonzalez de Galdeano. "A man working on the edge and always looking for the best form to meet the objectives. He has my confidence and that of the team and it is up to him when he will return and we will remain committed to the success that has always given us."
Gonzalez de Galdeano has been with the squad at the Dauphiné, finalising the line-up for the Tour which begins on June 29. With the Dauphiné heading for the first big mountain stage on Thursday, the Basque team is hopeful of making an impact.
"This is a very prestigious race and a win would be very important for the team," Gonzalez de Galdeano admitted. "Moreover, it would give us greater morale heading into the Tour."
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