After six weeks with the BMC Racing Team, Spanish veteran Samuel Sánchez says he regrets never knowing what he could have achieved with his new team had he signed with them aged 26 rather than 36 - and that in general, he is more than satisfied with his squad.
"Every day I'm more surprised," Sánchez, who signed with BMC in February, told Spanish sports daily MARCA. "It was a very drastic change [from Euskaltel-Euskadi, his team for 14 years since he turned pro in 2000]. I've gone from what was a family-like team, where it was all very good, to one of the biggest teams in the WorldTour with major resources."
"For example, we've got two bike riders per masseur and that means in half an hour you're almost all sorted out. That would have been inconceivable beforehand."
Although missing former teammates, he says he appreciates the change of mentality and focus in BMC. "They give you everything you need, but it's up to you to race and act like a professional."
"[Signing for BMC] has given me the same kind of motivation I felt as when I was a new pro.". However, he recognises that things at Euskaltel-Euskadi were not all bad, given, as he puts it, "I won a lot in a team with a lot fewer resources. In BMC, I've learned to value what I did [in Euskaltel]. Who knows what I would have achieved with this team if I'd signed for them 10 years earlier, at 26 instead of at 36."
"But I want to enjoy this while I can, win races, teach the younger generation and help Cadel Evans win the Giro," he said .
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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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