Sanchez shows his strength

Beloki unconcerned with Giro form

Luis León Sanchez (Liberty Seguros-Würth) took his second victory of the year at Sunday's Clásica Internacional Alcobendas, winning the 14.2 kilometre final time trial and finishing 12th overall. The 21 year-old now goes into the upcoming Volta a Catalunya with plenty of confidence, especially for the team time trial stage.

"Well, yesterday [Saturday] I was already good enough in Navacerrada, although I noticed that I was lacking the pace of competition," said Sanchez. "Today, on the other hand, I felt even better on the morning stage and then in the ITT, I confirmed it.

"This year's [time trial] was not the same circuit to that of 2004; it was different, with continuous climbs and with a lot of wind. The key is that I was strong. In the warm-up, I felt good enough and because that, we decided to use a 56-tooth chainring instead of a 55."

Speaking about being out of form up till now, Sanchez said: "I came to Australia [he won the third stage and the overall classification at the Tour Down Under - ed.] after having worked extremely hard in the winter, but I believe that I did not recover well [afterwards]. The injury in the wrist was good for me in a way, because I had to stop a little and could recover my strength."

Over in Italy, despite finishing 1'40 down on stage winner Paolo Bettini on the opening road stage of the Giro d'Italia yesterday, Joseba Beloki is unconcerned with his form, and stressed his motives for racing at present: "I have done a good stage, but I was not challenging myself at all in the end and I preferred not to take any risks," he said. "My aim at Giro is very clear: to take the form for the Tour de France and to help [Michele] Scarponi."

Scarponi, who is targeting the overall classification and currently lies 36th overall, said of yesterday's stage to Tropea: "The end was very dangerous and I could not place [myself] well. There were many nerves in the bunch, but I believe that the stage was good and I have felt very well. I'll wait to continue on improving in next days, where it will also be necessary to be very attentive at the finish."

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