Samuel Sanchez signs for BMC Racing

Spain's 2008 Olympic road champion said last week he'd retire if he didn't find a new team

by Simon_MacMichael   February 2, 2014  

Samuel Sanchez (copyright Simon MacMichael)

Samuel Sanchez, who last week said he would retire if he couldn’t find a team for the 2014 season, has signed for BMC Racing.

The 2008 Olympic road champion, who comes from Asturias in northwest Spain, has spent his entire professional career at Euskaltel-Euskadi, which folded at the end of last season.

The 35-year-old won the mountains jersey in the 2011 Tour de France, a race won by his new team-mate, Cadel Evans.

He was promoted to third in the 2010 edition of the race after Alberto Contador was stripped of the title, the overall victory instead going to Andy Schleck, and in 2009 Sanchez was runner-up to Alejandro Valverde in the Vuelta.

He has also finished second on four occasions in two of the sport’s biggest one-day races – the Flèche Wallonne in 2006, and Il Lombardia in 2006, 2009 and 2012.

BMC Racing’s president and general manager Jim Ochowicz said: "Sammy will add a high degree of skill and experience to the BMC Racing 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."

Sanchez added: "I feel like a rider who has just earned his first contract.

"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.

“And after riding so many years to beat Cadel Evans, it will be good to help him since he is a rider I know very well," he added.

No details of Sanchez’s contract, including its duration, have been released.

5 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

The space was obviously freed up with Ballan's sacking- see, every cloud has a golden lining!

Otis Bragg's picture

posted by Otis Bragg [96 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 18:25

like this
Like (17)

It's great having Sammy racing with the big boys and not retiring too early. Love his attacks in the mountains.

Tripod16

posted by Tripod16 [109 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 23:17

like this
Like (13)

Yet another leader at BMC. Struggling to see who on their team even qualifies as a domestique (though I suppose talk - presumably through gritted teeth - of 'helping' Cadel puts him in the super-domestique role).

Given that Evans is after the Giro, guessing Samu will be targetting... what? A stage at the Tour maybe? Fair enough for taking a contract, but BMC's recruitment policy baffles me.

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [994 posts]
2nd February 2014 - 23:50

like this
Like (10)

I'm glad Sanchez has a team but although he has been a leader at Euskatel, I don't think he can just come in assume leadership.

I think they will use his experience, not for his success but to further the ambitions of the younger riders like Van Garderen and Phinney.

stenmeister's picture

posted by stenmeister [46 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 14:41

like this
Like (5)

Speaking of his old now defunct team, sad to see no one will be riding Orcas.

Crimea03's picture

posted by Crimea03 [11 posts]
3rd February 2014 - 21:26

like this
Like (4)