Sanchis signs with Safi-Pasta Zara

Spaniard Anna Sanchis will ride in the colors of the Italian team Safi-Pasta Zara in 2009. Sanchis, who is from Xàtiva but spent the past two seasons based in Valenciana, travelled to Italy on Saturday to finalize her new deal.

"The contract is for one season, and my main objective will be the Giro d'Italia," said Sanchis on her 21st birthday. "The timing was a coincidence, but a nice birthday present nonetheless."

"The directors of the team showed interest in me during the last Giro d'Italia, in which I finished seventh overall and second in the best young rider classification, which in Italy is for those under 24 years-old," she said. She was also 19th at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Sanchis has been keeping herself more than busy by by pursuing medical studies in addition to racing, but next year she plans to scale back her scholarly efforts. "I will take on only a few subjects because I want to be strong on the bike."

The U23 Spanish champion will join Basque racer Eneritz Iturriaga on the squad as well as have a chance to learn from the team leader and former world champion Diana Ziliute of Lithuania.

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