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“This isn’t a transition year for me. It’s all about enjoying racing and racing lots, because that’s something I’ve missed,” Luis Leon Sanchez confessed in the interview for Cyclingnews

Photo: Sirotti

CAJA RURAL - SEGUROS RGA

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LA TROPICALE AMISSA BONGO ONDIMBA

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LUIS LEÓN SÁNCHEZ

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11.02.2014 @ 08:01 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Claiming to be hungry for racing, Luis Leon Sanchez kicked-off the 2014 season as early as possible in January and definitely lived up to very particular expectations while taking the first and only professional win of Spanish riders to date at la Tropicale Amissa Bongo. Interviewed by Cyclingnews during the day one of the Mallorca Challenge, Murcian-born rider admitted that even though he has signed only one year agreement with Caja Rural-Seguros RGA team, he doesn’t regard this season as a transitional one and aims to make the best of the time spent in their dark green outfit.

 

Luis Leon Sanchez was among the riders still left without a job in December after he was forced to part ways with his previous team Belkin, thus it comes as no surprise that the Murcian was eager to prove that Caja Rural made the right decision by throwing him a lifeline. It was never a big secret anyway, that the Spanish Pro Continental team expected Sanchez to significantly strengthen their roster and increase the total number of professional victories per season, so it was hard to imagine a better start.

 

Even though the former Paris-Nice winner was considered the biggest favorite to take the overall victory at the Tropicale Amissa Bongo while he finished as a runner-up, he still expresses satisfaction about the way he started the new season and believes that there are more victories to come for Spanish riders in the coming months.

 

“I’ve started well this year, but I’m sure that other Spanish riders will be doing as well as me in the near future. There’s a lot of talented guys out there.”

 

The 30-year old Spaniard has undergone a thorough preparations during the last winter break, however, he admits that is has nothing to do with any kind of pressure or a will to create a good impression on the new employers.

 

“I needed to do that gym work because I had lost a lot of muscle mass through not racing enough in 2013. I didn’t know where I was going to ride so it seemed like a good idea,” Sanchez told Cyclingnews

 

Although the full racing schedule of Caja Rural is not strictly set up in advance because of their Pro Continental status, most likely the first part of the season would be overloaded with races bringing up some very positive memories for Sanchez connected with his stint at Caisse d’Epargne.

 

In the coming weeks Murcian cyclist will ride the Tour Méditerranéen and Paris-Nice, both races that he has one during his successful 2009 season.

 

“It’s a race that suits me, there’s an 18 kilometre time trial which is good for me and I know the uphill finish on the Mont Faron well. But I won’t be the only one looking for another early win.”

 

“We did a good team time trial, then I got in the right break and then I held onto the lead up the Mont Faron, it was very important for me at the time.”

 

He also aims to perform well at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, as the event is very important for his new Navarre-based team and obviously at the Vuelta a Espana, even though it hasn’t been confirmed yet whether Caja Rural would be handed a wildcard.

 

"This isn’t a WorldTour team so the calendar isn’t as strictly set up in advance. The idea is more to be competitive throughout the entire year.”

 

While concluding an interview, Sanchez emphasized that he doesn’t regard the 2014 season as a transitional one and aims to make some good amends of the chance he has been given.

 

“This isn’t a transition year for me. It’s all about enjoying racing and racing lots, because that’s something I’ve missed,” Sanchez confessed.

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