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"Luckily, I've won four time trial championships and I would like to win the fifth. It will not be easy. Castroviejo always makes it difficult, Jesus demonstrated in Baku that he is fine, and tjere is always a r...

Photo: Sirotti






24.06.2015 @ 13:57 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Two days ago Luis Leon Sanchez arrived in Madrid from Azerbaijan where he won two medals at the European Games in Baku: gold in the road race and bronze in the time trial. It was a reward after the Giro d'Italia where he worked hard for his team. Before taking a break, the Astana rider still has a challenge: winning his fifth gold medal in the time trial at the Spanish Championships this weekend.


Sanchez was an important pillar of Astana in the Giro he was a bodyguard for Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa, and arrived in Azerbaijan with great condition as demonstrated by his second place in the time trial atthe Giro.


"I knew I had done well in the Giro. Maybe i was a little tired by having worked hard for the team. And I knew that if I had recovered well and was looking forward to Baku, it would not be bad but there was still a long way to winning. In the time trial, I felt ok but had the bad luck to be in the first wave where the wind was stronger. In the road race he had great work from all my teammates, and especially from Jesus (Herrada). Their hard work is worthy of recognition and admiration," he told Biciciclismo.


"I remembered my wife and family. This victory came at the right time. I just lacked a bit of confidence. Already in the Giro I got reassured. You always have to work and make things right. Now I will follow that line and hopefully I will achieve more results, "he added.


The team tactic went perfectly on the road: "From the start, we had to be alert if a large break went as it did. We were lucky to get to have Jesus there. It gave us the advantage of riding quietly, and there were other teams that had to work: Italy had fast riders, Belgium had Boonen as their trump card and they wanted to control the race. The break was caught. Jesus did very well and had the strength to go on the attack again. And I had to attack on the last climb because there were very fast riders for the sprint. I did so and Jesus did an outstanding job. In the end I could finish it off," he explained.


Next weekend he will face the Spanish Championships with a desire to win a fifth gold medal in the TT after winning in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and being second in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2013: "In principle I will do both (time trial and road race). I does not depend on me, but my wife Laura will give birth to our first son after the Championships. I'll do the time trial and I'll be in touch by phone. If things go well, I will stay there and do the road race. My idea is to do both. I have no illusions. Luckily, I've won four time trial championships and I would like to win the fifth. It will not be easy. Castroviejo always makes it difficult, Jesus demonstrated in Baku that he is fine, and tjere is always a rider like Eloy (Teruel) that will turn up being well- prepared. I'm fine, but now I have to recover from the journey that has been very long," he said.


His calendar of the second part of the season has been defined: Clasica San Sebastian, Vuelta a Burgos, Vuelta a Espana, the Worlds team time trial, Lombardy and Paris-Tours. "Worlds? If [Spanish national coach] Mínguez considers it appropriate I would return to the national team with pride, "he said. 


After the Nationals it is time for a rest period. 


"I want to rest because I have been competing almost non-stop from Australia with 52 days of competition. It is necessary because there is a long time to the Vuelta, but the break comes at the best time. I will see if it works out at the Championships and then'll rest," he said.



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