Sánchez leads Euskaltel-Euskadi at Tour of Beijing

Samuel Sánchez heads a strong Euskaltel-Euskadi line up at the Tour of Beijing next week.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games gold medallist said that he was excited to be heading back to China, his happy hunting ground.

"Last year was very special to be back in Beijing and compete on the roads that led me to conquer the most important achievement for an athlete, a gold medal at the Olympic Games," Sánchez said.

"This season we are back again with enthusiasm and to put on a great show for the fans and to encourage more people to go cycling.

"Winning is always difficult, but we will fight to get it."

Joining Sánchez will be multiple stage winner at the Vuelta a España Igor Anton, off the back of his top 10 overall performance at the last grand tour of the season.

"Last year was the debut of the race and I was able to win the mountains classification," Anton said.

"After the Tour of Spain and Italian classics, I have a good shape and am motivated and eager to see if we can put a nice finishing touch on the season finale."

Euskaltel-Euskadi will also race with Ivan Velasco, Amets Txurruka, Gorka Verdugo, Pello Bilbao and Mikel Landa. Sports director Iñaki Isasi said he believes the team can play a "leading role" in the five-stage race which brings the UCI World Tour to a close.

"Samuel Sánchez has the quality and experience to be one of the leading men of the race and Igor Antón and Mikel Nieve are two other talented riders who aspire to win," he said.

It will be the final race for both Velasco and Txurruka in Euskaltel-Euskadi colours with the riders reportedly leaving the Basque team for 2013.

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