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"It’s been a strange year for me. I never thought I’d fight for a polka dot jersey in my career. But as a team, we’re happy with what we’ve achieved."

Photo: Sirotti






15.09.2014 @ 14:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Luis Leon Sanchez surprised himself by winning the mountains competition in the Vuelta a Espana. Having originally just been protecting the lead of his teammate Lluis Mas, he suddenly found himself in a position to go for the win.


Luis Leon Sanchez and Caja Rural went into the Vuelta a Espana with the goal of winning a stage. They never reached that objective but instead they got a chance to chase another goal.


Lluis Mas took the mountains jersey early in the race and later passed it over to teammate Luis Leon Sanchez. Despite briefly losing the lead, the Spaniard managed to reclaim the coveted tunic and yesterday he stood on the podium as the winner of the mountains competition.


“I’m the first person surprised to win the polka dot jersey," he said. "I came to the Vuelta to try and win a stage or more and at the end, only one breakaway made it to the finish. Because of the time bonus up for grabs, the battle for stage wins has been strong.


"In between a few things, I happened to get the opportunity to fight for the KOM competition. It went well. I’m happy for myself but above all for my team. The first day I went in the breakaway, I sprinted for KOM points only to defend the lead of my team-mate Lluis Mas.


"It’s been a strange year for me. I never thought I’d fight for a polka dot jersey in my career. But as a team, we’re happy with what we’ve achieved.


"I enjoyed the time trial. When I started, it was raining so I could not take any risks. The goal was to finish and keep the jersey. We're happy to win the mountains jersey. It is an important victory. In the weekend, I will ride in Italy and then we will see if I get selected for the Worlds."


"The team has been battling in all stages, with people always on the attack," manager Juanma Hernandez said. "We lacked the luck to win a stage, but the balance is good. Winning the mountains jersey in a grand tour is important even though it was not in our plans. 


"We're very pleased with how the team has been riding. They tried but we didn't get the icing on the cake. Many teams are winless, including us, but we have a small podium. With 30 podium appearences and the mountains jersey, we are satisfied."


"Our goal of a stage win has not been achieved but instead we won the mountains jersey thanks to constant fighting," team principal Eugenio Goikoetxea said. "In a grand tour, that is a good result."



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