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"Different teams have shown interest and right now our concern is to make the right decision. We have to choose between different possibilities on the table and I think we will do so soon, before the end of the year," Sanchez'...

LUIS LEÓN SÁNCHEZ

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28.11.2013 @ 13:38 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Luis Leon Sanchez failed to secure a place on the Movistar and Caja Rural rosters for the 2014 season but still has plenty of options for the coming season. According to his manager Angel Buenache, it is simply a question of choosing between several offers and a decision is expected before the end of the year.

 

The year is drawing to a close but several big name riders still haven't found a team for the coming season. One of them is Luis Leon Sanchez who was left on the market when Belkin bought him out of his contract, citing his involvement in several doping investigations as the reason.

 

While Sanchez' name has been mentioned in such investigations, most notably the Operacion Puerto, he has never been found guilty in any violations of the anti-doping rules and so is free to ride for another team. However, he has until now been unable to secure a contract and at this time, most of the teams have finalized their rosters.

 

Sanchez was linked with a move to his former team, Movistar, but the Spanish closed its roster without adding the Spaniard to the list. He was later rumoured to be very close to a deal with Caja Rural but the Spanish team ended its recruitment without signing Sanchez, citing his wage demands as a main reason.

 

Since then, no news have emerged but Sanchez' agent Angel Buenache claims that there is no reason to worry about the future of the former Belkin rider. In an interview with Biciciclismo, he reveals that Sanchez has several offers on the table and will make a decision before the end of the year.

 

"We have peace in mind," he said. "He will continue on his bike. We fight for his chance to do what he does best which is cycling. Our effort is based on a quiet work that should allow him to compete and I have absolute confidence that we will get there. I have always worked to see the rider with a number on his back.

 

"Different teams have shown interest and right now our concern is to make the right decision," he added. "We have to choose between different possibilities on the table and I think we will do so soon, before the end of the year. Above all, it's about finding a team that will trust him completely. That's the base. A team where he can train with confidence and ride without speculation. In short, he wants to develop his career and show the world that nothing prevents him from competing. And we are convinced that he will do so. In that sense, he is fortunate and regardless of our decision, we want to thank the teams that have placed their trust in him."

 

Sanchez had a troubled start to the season. Belkin put him on inactive status when new links to the Operacion Puerto emerged in the press but he took the case to the UCI which ruled that he had the right to compete. He returned to competition in the Tour of Belgium where he won the queen stage and won a stage of the Tour de l'Ain later in the year. His final race in the Belkin colour was the Vuelta a Espana where hypothermia forced him to abandon.

 

Earlier this month, it was rumoured that the Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC) had tried to use its influence on race organizers to prevent teams from signing Sanchez. The organization denied the claims and Buenache is keen to point out that nothing prevents Sanchez from continuing his career.

 

"Neither the UCI nor the MPCC has no problem with the rider," he said, adding that Sanchez "won the case at the UCI arbitration committee."

 

Buenache stresses that there is a confidentiality agreement that prevents him from speaking about the Belkin team and the deal between the parties but claims that Belkin has broken the agreement. "We will defend ourselves and talk when the time comes," he said. 

 

Sanchez rode for Belkin and its predecessor Rabobank for three years.

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