Last-minute signing Samuel Sánchez has said that his contract with BMC is for a single year and that he will be deciding his race program later this month.
In an interview wtih BiciCiclismo, Sánchez said negotations had started four or five days ago, and after receiving the green light from Jim Ochowicz, Cadel Evans and sports director Yvon Ledanois for him to join the team as soon as possible, a deal for 2014 had been quickly reached.
“Initially it’s a year-long contract, but the important thing is that I’m doing what I like,” he told BiciCiclismo. “I’m racing to enjoy myself and now I will be able to do it with a team that is amazingly well-organised.”
He denied that he was surprised, however, that BMC had agreed to sign him. “It’s a first class team. I have a good palmares and status in the peloton. My destiny was never going to be anything other than a top team.”
“It’s been a very hard few months, though, the fact that it took such a long time to sort out the Euskaltel team” - with a lack of clarity over its possible continuity with a new sponsor making matters much more difficult - “but I’m here because I haven’t thrown in the towel even if it was getting difficult, the season had already started.”
Sánchez has no idea yet what his race calendar will be. “I will be in Italy on Thursday and then I head to Belgium to get measured up for the bike and kit, medical tests and so on. To get used to how the team works and see how it is structured, so I can adapt the quickest possible.” Amongst his objectives this year are “a third Classic win, or at least a podium finish in the Ardennes. And to win the World’s, it’s difficult, but I’ve already won an Olympic Games road-race in Beijing.”
Asked about Fernando Alonso’s team in 2015, Sánchez told BiciCiclismo “I’m just thinking in the short-term. For now, I know I’m going to race this year, which was my main concern. And I’m sorry for my [former Euskaltel-Euskadi] team-mates that haven’t been able to continue, riders with a lot of cycling left in their legs, I remember them a lot. They know I would have taken a rider with me and if I haven’t done that, it’s because I couldn’t. It’s been a very difficult situation: I only found a team in February.”
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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