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by Shane Stokes
December 10, 2014
Several weeks after the BMC Racing Team confirmed to CyclingTips that Samuel Sanchez wouldn’t be with the team in 2015, the former Olympic champion is hovering on the brink of retirement.
The rider, who will turn 37 years of age in February, has one possibility to continue, but is uncertain if he will take up that option.
“I’m wondering whether or not I continue one more season,” he told El Comercio. “I’m thinking. “I don’t know. I have an offer, but I do not know. To continue it needs to be a motivating project.”
Sanchez was originally due to continue with the Euskaltel team until the end of 2015, but that squad collapsed a year ago. Formula One driver Fernando Alonso and his representatives were in talks about possibly taking over, but ultimately did not do so.
Alonso is a friend of Sanchez and the rider was hoping that the driver’s plans to set up a team for this coming season would give him an opportunity. However, once again, Alonso didn’t follow through and the rider was left without that option.
Although he rode solidly with the BMC Racing Team and finished sixth overall in the Vuelta a España, he didn’t have the chance to renew with the team.
Although he’s ageing, he believes he has more to offer. “I still can reach my peak performance, but not for so long,” he said during the Vuelta. “I would like to continue in cycling. It’s not everything in my life, but it is my passion.”
Still, he knows the time is close and may opt to start his new life now.
“When the Euskaltel team’s closure left me without a team, that was bad. I didn’t want to finish as well,” he said. “This time the decision is mine. I have spent many years racing. It is not life or death.”
It appears that the offer he has been given is not as high as he would like. He appears to be a little sore about that. “I showed at the end of the season that I still have a high level,” he said. “I do not know what I’ll do. I cannot say that I am going to continue or to stop. I’m thinking about it.”
Sanchez had a long and successful career. Aside from victory in the 2008 Olympic road race, he has won the Vuelta a Burgos, the Volta al Pais Vasco, the GP Miguel Indurain, Zuri-Metzgete and stages in the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
He also finished second, fifth and sixth overall in the Tour plus second, third, sixth, seventh and eighth in the Vuelta a España.