A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
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Tejay van Garderen (BMC) distances Rigoberto Uran
Sanchez leads BMC at next week's race
Samuel Sanchez will lead the BMC Racing Team in next week’s Volta a Catalunya, the American squad have confirmed.Tejay van Garderen will make his return to racing after being forced to pull out of Paris-Nice on stage 1 due to illness.
"I am feeling better as time goes by and also with each race I do," Sánchez said in a team press release.
"During Roma Maxima, I was there at the end and I expect to continue my improvement, step-by-step."
Sanchez signed for BMC after the Euskaltel-Euskadi WorldTour team folded at the end of last season. The 35-year-old joined the team a week after Alessandro Ballan was sacked from BMC due a two-year doping suspension. Sanchez recently completed a training camp where he honed his form ahead of Catalunya, which starts on Monday.
"It was a very positive experience at all levels in a professional environment: from food to masseurs, coaches, mechanics, directors and osteopaths. I also had the chance to meet more teammates and begin a friendly relationship."
Sanchez will be joined by American Tejay van Garderen who is returning to racing following a bout of illness. The 2013 Tour of California winner was forced to pull out of the first stage of Paris-Nice earlier this month.
"I may be lacking some race rhythm, but I was able to train well the past 10 days," van Garderen said. "My hope is to get stronger throughout the race, earn a top 10 result, and help my teammates if needed. I am also excited to do my first race with Sammy."
"This will be a hard race, but Samuel is ready and motivated and Tejay van Garderen has recovered well," said team DS Yvon Ledanois.
"We have a good team here and I have confidence they will help our leader make a good result."