Luis León Sánchez takes stock after the Tour's opening days

Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Caisse d'Epargne).

Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Caisse d'Epargne). (Image credit:

Spaniard, Luis León Sánchez, looks towards this weekend's mountain stages after losing over three minutes in the first four stages of the Tour de France.

"I am a little disappointed with the first stages because of my lack of rhythm, but I am beginning to get the rhythm of the race in my legs," said Sánchez after Tuesday's team time trial in Montpellier.

Sánchez helped team Caisse d'Epargne finish in seventh, 1:29 back from the winning time of Astana. The team finished with eight men after Arnaud Coyot eased up 17 kilometres into the 39-kilometre stage. Officials take the time on the fifth team member to cross the line.

Sánchez finished 1:48 behind in the opening day's time trial on Saturday and lost 41 seconds to Lance Armstrong on Monday's stage three. He is currently three minutes and 18 seconds back behind the race leader, Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank).

"I know that I am able to do much better. I am now waiting for the mountain stages to be in front with the best riders."

The Tour de France, July 4 to 26, travels into the high mountains Friday. Riders will face a 224-kilometre stage that ends with the ascent of the Arcalís climb. Saturday and Sunday contain mountain passes over 2000 metres, but neither features a mountain top finish.

Sánchez won this year's Paris-Nice stage race thanks to a strong performance on the tough mountain stage to Fayence. He also won the Méditerranéen Tour earlier in the year.

He finished 59th in last year's Tour de France and is one of Caisse d'Epargne's team leaders this year in the absence of Alejandro Valverde.

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