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Sánchez keeps focus on Vuelta gold

Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) keeps focus on Vuelta gold

Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) keeps focus on Vuelta gold (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Olympic Champion Samuel Sánchez is keeping his focus on the Vuelta a España overall title after four nervous days in The Netherlands and Belgium.

"My heart says I can win," said Sánchez. "It's like the Tour (de France) last year. I thought I could and I did make the top ten, but it's another thing to do it. I feel the same with the Vuelta, I think I can I win, I am capable, but there are plenty of rivals."

Spaniard Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is in 73rd place, 42 seconds back from overall leader Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) after four days of racing.

Sánchez believes the overall classification will re-shape this weekend. The riders face difficult stages such as Saturday's time trial in Valencia, and mountain stages on Sunday and Monday.

"The Valencia time trial is the first big test of the Vuelta, followed immediately by the mountaintop stages to Aitana and Xorret de Cati. We are going from a 30-kilometre time trial in a fixed position to a stage of eight mountains the next day. It is a remarkable change."

Sánchez won the Vuelta's final time trial in 2007 and finished third overall. He has won a total of five stages: three in 2007, one in 2006 and 2005.

The riders flew from Liège, Belgium, to Spain on Monday night The Vuelta resumes tomorrow with a 174-kilometre stage from Tarragona to Vinaros.

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