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Sánchez to captain Euskaltel at Burgos

Olympic road champion Samuel Sánchez (Eukaltel-Euskadi) waits for the start.

Olympic road champion Samuel Sánchez (Eukaltel-Euskadi) waits for the start. (Image credit: Sirotti)

Euskaltel-Euskadi confirmed on Monday that Spaniard Samuel Sánchez will lead the Basque squad in the Vuelta a Burgos stage race, which starts in Spain on Wednesday. Euskaltel have named sprinter Koldo Fernández as the team's co-captain.

Olympic Champion Sánchez will use the five-day race as part of his preparation for this year's Vuelta a España.  The Spanish Grand Tour begins in The Netherlands in four weeks.

Sánchez finished third overall in the 2007 Vuelta a España, but skipped his home tour last year in favour of the Tour de France and Olympics. He finished sixth overall at the Tour before he won gold in the road race in Beijing.

This year, Sánchez has taken a very different approach to the central section of his season.  He finished ninth overall at the Volta a Catalunya in May and then skipped most of June and July races.  He returned to top-level racing last Saturday at the Clásica San Sebastián and finished 50th. 

The Vuelta a Burgos does not take in any of this year's Vuelta a España course, but it will provide good test for Sánchez. The last stage features five categorised climbs including the final hors catégorie ascent to Lagunes De Neila.

Euskaltel-Euskadi's full team for the Vuelta a Burgos is Samuel Sánchez, Koldo Fernández de Larrea, Juan Jose Oroz, Gorka Verdugo, Iñaki Isasi, Mikel Nieve, Pablo Urtasun and Jorge Azanza.

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