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Samuel Sánchez
Samuel Sánchez2.jpg
Personal information
Full name Samuel Sánchez González
Nickname Samu
Date of birth February 5, 1978 (1978-02-05) (age 31)
Country  Spain
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 65 kg (140 lb)
Team information
Current team Euskaltel-Euskadi
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type All-rounder
Professional team(s)1
2000– Euskaltel-Euskadi
Major wins
Olympic flag.svg Olympics Men's Road Race (2008)
Vuelta a España, 5 stages
Züri-Metzgete (2006)
Infobox last updated on:
September 11, 2008

1 Team names given are those prevailing
at time of rider beginning association with that team.

Samuel Sánchez González (born February 5, 1978 in Oviedo, Asturias) is a Spanish professional road bicycle racer. He was the gold medal winner in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Road Race. In recent years Sánchez has proven himself in hilly classics and stage races as one of the most important riders in the peloton. He's also known as one of the best descenders in the peloton.

Contents

Career

He started his professional career in 2000 at the Basque team Euskaltel-Euskadi and still rides there today. His inclusion on the team was highly unusual in that he was a non-Basque member of the team.

He recorded his first major victory in 2005 when he won the 13th stage in the Vuelta a España, finishing 11th in the general classification. After winner Roberto Heras was erased from the results for doping use, Sánchez shifted up to the 10th place.

In 2006 the Asturian added two stage wins in the Vuelta al País Vasco and a second place on the steep finishing climb of the Belgian spring classic La Flèche Wallonne. In the Vuelta a España he won the 13th stage (just like the year before) with a daring attack in a downhill section and finished 7th in the general classification. At the World Championships in the Austrian city of Salzburg Sánchez played a major part by creating the decisive break in the final kilometer for his leader Alejandro Valverde. Sánchez himself finished 4th behind Paolo Bettini, Erik Zabel and Valverde. One week later he won Züri-Metzgete, his first classic. With 12 km to go he attacked to solo into Zurich with half a minute to spare over Stuart O'Grady and Davide Rebellin.[1] Two weeks later he finished second in the Giro di Lombardia, and secured his second place in the final UCI ProTour classification.

The next season Sánchez started with a 9th place in Paris-Nice and he won the final time trial in the Vuelta al País Vasco, finishing third in the final classification. After a winless classics season Sánchez won the final stage in the Volta a Catalunya. In the Vuelta a España he won the 15th stage ahead of Manuel Beltrán, after attacking in Alto de Monachil, showing his fast downhilling skills to catch Beltrán in the descent to Granada. Beltrán asked Samuel to let him win, but the Euskaltel rider denied him such satisfaction because he wanted to dedicate this win to his son, expected to be born in March 2008. Sánchez won some meters and reached the finish line excited as if holding a baby in his arms.[2] He also won the last mountain stage up to Alto de Abantos and the last time trial, allowing him to move up onto the podium.[3] He became the first rider of Euskaltel-Euskadi to achieve a podium in a Grand Tour.

2008 Olympic Men's Road Race

Samuel Sanchez.jpg

On Au|gust 9, 2008, Sánchez won the men's Olympic road race in 90% humidity and smog, a race that ran twice each lap through stone gates in The Great Wall of China. About a quarter of the way through the race, a breakaway group of 26 riders ahead of the peloton were the first viable group to have a chance of winning the race, but Sánchez was not among them.

Sánchez and his Spanish teammates, along with strong help from the Italians and Russians, drove the peloton at a tough pace to catch the group of 20 or so remaining members of the breakaway; and, with 20 km to go, Sánchez and a group of two others escaped ahead and were only caught when Swiss power rider Fabian Cancellara, Russian Alexander Kolobnev and Australian Michael Rogers latched onto the group with only a few kilometres left. At the sprint finish of six men, after an uphill section that ran through a gate in The Great Wall one last time, Sánchez finished a wheel ahead of Italy's Davide Rebellin, with Fabian Cancellara taking the bronze.

Major Results

2003
2nd Overall Tour du Haut Var
3rd Overall Vuelta al País Vasco
2004
1st Escalada a Montjuïc
2005
1st Escalada a Montjuïc
10th Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stage 13
2006
1st Züri-Metzgete
1st Stage 3 Vuelta Asturias
1st Jersey green.svg Points classification Paris-Nice
2nd Giro di Lombardia
2nd La Flèche Wallonne
6th Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stage 13
7th Overall Vuelta al País Vasco
1st Stage 2
1st Stage 3
2007
1st Stage 7 Volta a Catalunya
3rd Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stage 15
1st Stage 19
1st Stage 20 (ITT)
3rd Overall Vuelta al País Vasco
1st Stage 6
2008
1st Olympic flag.svg Olympics Men's Road Race
7th Overall Tour de France
2nd Stage 17
2009
1st GP Llodio
2nd Overall, Vuelta a Espana
2nd Giro di Lombardia
3rd Overall, Vuelta al País Vasco
1st Points Classification
4th, La Flèche Wallonne

References

External links








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