Samuel Sanchez to ride for BMC Racing Team in 2014
Earlier today Team BMC Racing announced it has signed former Olympic road race champion and grand tour podium finisher Samuel Sánchez.
Sanchez, who was rumored to be in the process of negotiating a deal with Team Tinkoff-Saxo, has chosen to join BMC instead.
The 35-year-old Spaniard won the 2008 Olympic road race championships in Beijing, China and secured podium finishes at the Vuelta a España (second in 2009) and the Tour de France (third in 2010). At the 2011 Tour de France he joined overall winner Cadel Evans on the final podium in Paris as champion of the king of the mountains classification.
"I feel like a rider who has just earned his first contract," Sánchez commented with excitement in his voice. "I want to thank the entire BMC Racing Team, especially Andy Rihs and Jim Ochowicz, for welcoming me into one of the most prominent teams of the WorldTour. It is my hope that I can share my experience with the younger riders on the team. Also, after riding so many years attempting to beat Cadel Evans, it will be good to help him since he is a rider I know very well."
Sánchez has competed in fourteen grand tours (eleven of which he has finished) and has won stages in both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. Sanchez has proved very successful when taking part in races in his home country, winning Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco in 2012, GP Miguel Indurain in 2011, Vuelta A Burgos in 2010, and two stages of the Volta a Catalunya (2007, 2012). Sánchez's performances at the classics include runner-up finishes at Flèche Wallonne (2006) and Il Lombardia (2006, 2009 and 2012).
Since turning professional in 2000, Sánchez had raced with the Euskaltel-Euskadi team, which ceased operations at the end of the 2013 season when it was unable to secure needed sponsors.
Commenting on the signing of Sanchez, Team BMC Racing General Manager Jim Ochowicz said "Sammy will add a high degree of skill and experience to our team." He can cover all the bases, but in particular, we look forward to having him support his new teammates in the Ardennes classics and at the grand tours."
The financial terms of the Sanchez contract were not disclosed.