BMC Racing are backing in former Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco champion Sammy Sanchez to add to his eight career stage wins at the WorldTour stage race. The American team can also count on Nicolas Roche and Damiano Caruso for the general classification as it takes a versatile roster into the six-stage race which concludes with a 27.7km time trial in Eibar.
"We will be looking to carry the strong team dynamic that we saw at Volta Ciclista a Catalunya into this race," sport director Yvon Ledanois said of the team. "While we are not going in with a specific team leader, I am looking forward to seeing how Samuel Sánchez, who won a stage last year, will perform. I have already seen that he is riding at a similar level to last year."
BMC won the first WorldTour stage race of the year at Tour Down Under and has gone on to claim stage wins at Paris–Nice, Tirreno–Adriatico, Volta a Catalunya. At Pais Vasco, the team is aiming to continue its winning win at WorldTour stage races in 2017 before focusing on the GC.
"We have a good group of riders lining up, and I trust in the abilities of everyone to ride aggressively and challenge for stage wins over the six days. This will be our first priority, and then we will see how the General Classification develops from there," Ledanois added.
Sanchez, who will wear the number 41 dossard, was part of the squad which won the TTT at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya but is yet to finish inside the top-20 of a stage. Despite a lack of results, Sanchez is confident of a good showing at the race and challenging for the GC.
"Following a tough edition of Volta Ciclista a Catalunya comes one of the main objectives of the year, Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco. On paper, this year's parcours seems less demanding than previous editions of the race, however, judging by the list of strong riders heading to the start line I feel this won't be the case," Sanchez said.
"I will definitely be hoping to repeat last year's performance and try and get as far up the General Classification as possible while at the same time, as a team, we will be looking for opportunities and fighting for stage wins."
Belgian duo Dylan Teuns and Loïc Vliegen also line out for BMC at the race from Monday April 3, with the climbing domestiques Alessandro De Marchi, Amaël Moinard and Danilo Wyss rounding out the squad.
Cyclingnews will have live coverage of the six stages from Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco along with race reports, results, photos and news
BMC Racing for Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco: Damiano Caruso, Alessandro De Marchi, Amaël Moinard, Nicolas Roche, Samuel Sánchez, Dylan Teuns, Loïc Vliegen and Danilo Wyss.
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