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Luis León Sanchez Returns to Racing in the Tour de Picardie
By Staff
Date: 5/15/2009
Luis León Sanchez Returns to Racing in the Tour de Picardie

Luis León Sanchez Returns to Racing in the Tour de Picardie
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 winning ways...

Luis 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 disorganized.

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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