BMC have announced on their website that they have signed 2008 Olympic champion and Tour podium finisher Samuel Sánchez. Sánchez was on the hunt for a team since his prior Euskaltel-Euskadi announced they were folding last year.
Whilst admitting that he was close to throwing in the towel after weeks of searching, Sánchez had hinted strongly to Cyclingnews last week that a possible deal, brokered by his manager Joona Lauka, was on the cards. However he had not revealed details of which squad it could be.
Whilst details of the agreement between the 35-year-old and the American squad have not been released, Sánchez’ objectives will be to hit top form for the Ardennes Classics and the Grand Tours. Sánchez has finished seven times in the top ten of a Grand Tour, with a second place in the 2009 Vuelta and a third in the 2010 Tour.
"I feel like a rider who has just earned his first contract," Sánchez said on the team’s website. "I want to thank the entire BMC Racing Team, especially Andy Rihs and Jim Ochowicz, for welcoming me into one of the most prominent teams of the WorldTour. It is my hope that I can share my experience with the younger riders on the team. And after riding so many years to beat Cadel Evans, it will be good to help him since he is a rider I know very well."
Sanchez's arrival comes just over a week after Alessandro Ballan was fired from the team after the Italian was handed a two year supsension for doping.
"Sammy will add a high degree of skill and experience to the BMC Racing Team," Jim Ochowicz said.
"He can cover all the bases, but in particular, we look forward to having him support his new teammates in the Ardennes classics and at the grand tours."
Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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