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Sanchez aims for Paris-Nice, Tour de France and Olympics

2011 Spanish time trial champion Luis León Sánchez (Rabobank)

2011 Spanish time trial champion Luis León Sánchez (Rabobank) (Image credit: Rafael Gómez Alonso)

Luis Leon Sanchez feels like he has now adapted to Rabobank and is looking forward to his second year with the Dutch team. The Spaniard says that Paris-Nice, the Tour de France and the London Olympic Games feature on his 2012 calendar.

Sanchez, 28, had only two victories in 2011, but they were big ones. "It was fewer than in previous seasons, but I won where I wanted: the Spanish time trial championship and a stage in the Tour de France. Maybe it was about both quality training at home and at altitude, but now is the time to look forward," he told

He won't have to look forward too long, as his season starts early. Rabobank has already named him as captain for the season's first WorldTour race, the Santos Tour Down Under in January. “It's good to start early,” Sanchez said, looking to the race he won in 2005.

Once he returns to Europe, his race calendar is not filled but there are some certainties. “I will go back to Paris-Nice, which I have always enjoyed, and then it looks like the Classics and the Tour of the Basque Country. Since I will be in the Tour, I will either ride the Dauphine or go to altitude training, as I did this year."

“Besides all this, I want to be in London. I read that the course can be selective. “

With the departure of Oscar Freire, he will have lost a Spanish teammate at Rabobank, “but we still have Garate, Barredo and me. At first it was difficult with the language and the difference from most of the team members by being Spanish, but that was predictable.” It helped very much that sport director Erik Breukink speaks Spanish, he added.

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