Luis León Sanchez Returns to Racing in the Tour de
After a brilliant start to the 2009 season, Sanchez took some time time off. The
Caisse d'Epargne rider returned to racing today in France to continue his
León Sanchez started the 2009 season in a big way with 8 appearances on the
podium and five victories: Stage 1 Tour du Haut-Var, wins in Stage 1 and 7 at
Paris - Nice where he also won the G.C.. At the Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco he
continued his winning ways taking the first stage, fifth on the G.C. and third
in the points classification. Taking a weeks rest Luis returned to training for
his return to racing that started today..
Luis León Sánchez, who started racing again today in France on the occasion
of the Tour de Picardie, finished at place 38 in the first of the four stages
which took place between Chaumont-en-Vexin and Roisel on the distance of 179, 5
kilometers. Thanks to the time bonuses, Luis León is now third overall at 32”
from the leader, Lieuwe Westra.
Luis Leon Sanchez Photo © Abarca Sports
“The beginning of my season was really a good one but also a very intense
one, with five important victories. After I won the first stage of the Tour of
the Basque Country I started noticing that it was time for me to rest a little
bit, not just my legs but also my mind because I was just saturated with the
bike. I decided to relax a whole week without touching the bike and after that,
I started training again but very easily.
Two weeks ago I was motivated again to train hard and regularly. The French
race will give me the opportunity to get the rhythm of the competition and see
how I really am at the moment. In the beginning it was not planned that I would
start racing again before the Dauphiné Libéré, but the team changed my plans so
that I would not be long out of competition. Normally, after the Tour of
Picardie, my next race will be the another French stage race, the Route du Sud
and after that I will take part in the Spanish Championships just before going
to the Tour.
Luis Leon Sanchez in the attack that won the maillot jaune in stage 7.
hoto © 2009 Fotoreporter Sirotti
After staying for such a long time without racing it is obvious that I am
pretending nothing in Picardie, except do my best to help my team-mates. At the
beginning of the season they gave it all their support to help me win various
races. It is now my turn to do the same for them.
The weather of this first stage was really bad, very windy and raining most
of the time. It was more prudent to ride in the lead rather than in the bunch
where many riders crashed today. At about 85 kilometers from the finish I went
with a ten-man breakaway. The collaboration was rather good but later on various
riders were the victims of a puncture and as a consequence the whole thing was
In the final I tried to stay alone in the lead but the first pack caught me
at 7 km from the line. I suffered a puncture in the final but we were already in
the final three kilometers and the commissaires gave me the same time as the
bunch. I am now third overall.
I must say that I am very happy after this first stage because I am feeling
much better than I expected. I will keep on taking advantage of the next stages
to improve my fitness level so that on Sunday night I can go home and follow my
preparation with more tranquility. ”
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