Luis León Sánchez - Interview
2005 Tour Down under winner Caisse d'Epargne rider talks about the ProTour
opener and his goals this season.
The winner of the Tour Down Under at the time of his first participation in
2005 and the second classified in 2006, Luis León Sánchez will lead, together
with another rider originating in Murcia, José Joaquím Rojas, the Spanish team
Caisse d’Epargne on the occasion of the first ProTour race of the season 2008.
Luis León Sánchez team photo. courtesy of Caisse d'Epargne
How do you judge your season 2007? Are you satisfied
with the results you get or did you expect something more?
“I started very well in Majorca by winning the final classification of the
Challenge, and later in Paris-Nice I won a beautiful stage. After that I was
unlucky and a few days before Paris-Roubaix I was really sick, which did not
enable me to ride at the level I wished to. It took time before I completely
recovered and in spite of the fact that I tried as well as possible, that was
not sufficient to form part of the group of riders selected to be in the team
for the Tour de France.
I nevertheless never lost hope and I prepared well for the Vuelta, but I was
the victim of a virus on the eve of the start in Vigo, which did not allow me to
be at the level I had to be during those three weeks. Consequently, if I must
draw up an assessment I would say that 2007, my third season as a professional
rider, had some good but also some bad moments. I believe that the most
important thing to remember is the additional experience I accumulate during
this year, which helps to become every day a better rider. As for 2008, I hope
to be well!”
How did you prepare the season 2008?
“I started to train later than the years before, but I feel already rather
well. We will see what I am able to do in Australia. We arrived more than one
week in advance in order to benefit from the excellent weather and train in the
best conditions. That enabled me to continue my preparation the best possible
way. I am really hungry for competing again!”
2007 Paris - Nice: Luis Leon Sanchez celebrates victory stage 6
What will be your program and what ambitions will
you start the season?
“After being back in Europe, I will ride for the first time in the
Mediterranean Tour and then in the Tour of Valencia before moving to the start
of Paris-Nice, a race which makes me dream. Last year I felt very good during
that race, which enabled me to win a stage. I hope to be able to realize the
same this year and also to fight for the general classification. Later I will
participate in Paris-Roubaix and the Flemish Classics. After a period of rest, I
will start competing again on the occasion of the Dauphiné Libéré in order to
prepare for the Tour. I hope to be in sufficiently good condition to be selected
for the Grande Boucle in order to achieve a great result for my team.”
This is not your first participation in the Tour
Down Under. You have very beautiful memories…. Do you hope to win again?
“This will be my third participation. The first year, in 2005, I was lucky
enough to win the final general classification and the following year, I
finished the second. It is indeed a very beautiful memory but this time, not
being at 100% condition yet, I believe that it will not be possible for me to
aspire to a victory.”
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