Samuel Sánchez

Samuel "Samu" Sánchez González[2] (born 5 February 1978) is a Spanish former professional road bicycle racer, who rode professionally in the sport between 2000 and 2017 for the Euskaltel–Euskadi and BMC Racing Team squads. He was the gold medal winner in the road race at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In the following years Sánchez proved himself in hilly classics and stage races as one of the most important riders in the peloton. He was also known as one of the best descenders in the peloton. He finished in the top 6 of the Tour de France three times and in the top 10 of the Vuelta a España 6 times. Other notable achievements include winning the Vuelta a Burgos in 2010, the 2012 Tour of the Basque Country and five stages of the Vuelta a España.

Samuel Sánchez
Antwerpen - Tour de France, étape 3, 6 juillet 2015, départ (232).JPG
Sánchez at the 2015 Tour de France
Personal information
Full nameSamuel Sánchez González
NicknameSamu, Sammy
Born (1978-02-05) 5 February 1978 (age 42)
Oviedo, Spain
Height1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Weight68 kg (150 lb; 10 st 10 lb)
Team information
Current teamRetired
Rider typeAll-rounder
Professional teams
2014–2017BMC Racing Team[1]
Major wins
Grand Tours
Tour de France
Mountains classification (2011)
1 individual stage (2011)
1 TTT stage (2015)
Vuelta a España
5 individual stages (2005, 2006, 2007)

Stage races

Vuelta a Burgos (2010)
Tour of the Basque Country (2012)

One-day races and Classics

Olympic Road Race (2008)
Züri-Metzgete (2006)
GP Miguel Induráin (2011)


Euskaltel–Euskadi (2000–13)Edit

He started his professional career in 2000 at the Spanish team Euskaltel–Euskadi and remained there until the team's disbanding in 2013.[3]

Early yearsEdit

In 2003, Sánchez finished 6th in Liège–Bastogne–Liège and third overall in the Tour of the Basque Country. The following year, he came 4th in Liège–Bastogne–Liège, and came 15th overall in his first Vuelta a España. 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, Sánchez added two stage wins in the Tour of the Basque Country and a second place on the steep finishing climb of the Belgian spring classic La Flèche Wallonne. He finished 4th overall in Paris–Nice, winning the points jersey in the process. In the Vuelta a España he won the 13th stage with a daring attack in a downhill section and finished 7th in the general classification. At the UCI Road World Championships in the Austrian city of Salzburg Sánchez played a major part by creating the decisive break in the final kilometre 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 kilometres (7.5 miles) to go he attacked to solo into Zürich with half a minute to spare over Stuart O'Grady and Davide Rebellin.[4] Two weeks later he finished second in the Giro di Lombardia, and secured his second place in the final UCI ProTour classification.


Sánchez at the 2007 Euskal Bizikleta

In 2007, Sánchez started with a ninth place in Paris–Nice and he won the final time trial in the Tour of the Basque Country, 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 descending skills to catch Beltrán in the descent to Granada. Beltrán asked Sánchez to let him win, but Sánchez wanted to dedicate this win to his future son, expected to be born in March 2008. Sánchez won by some metres and reached the finish line as if holding a baby in his arms.[5] He also won the last mountain stage up to Alto de Abantos and the last time trial, allowing him to move into 3rd overall.[6] This meant he became the first rider of Euskaltel–Euskadi to achieve a podium in a Grand Tour.


In 2008, Sánchez rode his first complete Tour de France, and finished 6th overall. In August Sánchez won the 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 kilometres (12 miles) to go, Sánchez and two others escaped and were only caught when Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara, Russian Alexandr 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 to take gold, with Cancellara taking the bronze.[7]


In 2009, Sánchez won the Gran Premio de Llodio, and he came third overall in the Tour of the Basque Country, winning the points classification. He finished second to Alejandro Valverde in the Vuelta a España, his second podium finish in the event. Sánchez also came second in the Giro di Lombardia, after getting back to Philippe Gilbert who attacked in the last climb. The pair collaborated well together during the last kilometres to keep the chasers at bay during the descent and Sánchez lost the sprint by half a bike length.[8]

In 2010, Sánchez came first overall in the Vuelta a Burgos, as well as winning two stages and the points classification in the event. He also won a stage in the Tour of the Basque Country, winning the points classification in the race as well. Sánchez carried his good form into the Tour de France where he finished 4th overall,[9] after losing out on a podium place to Denis Menchov in the final time trial.[10] He was later moved up to 3rd overall after the disqualification of Alberto Contador and then Sánchez moved up to 2nd overall after the disqualification of Menchov, too.


Sánchez was among the favourites heading into the Tour de France, but a series of crashes in the first week saw him well down the classification as the race entered the Pyrenees. On Stage 12, the first summit finish of the Tour, Sánchez attacked the overall contenders on the final climb, to win the stage and gain back some time. The revised scoring system for the King of the Mountains competition also meant that Sánchez took the polka dot jersey.[11] However, Jeremy Roy took the jersey the next day. On Stage 14, the next summit finish, Sánchez again attacked the overall contenders, and finished second on the stage to move up to sixth overall.[12] He moved up to fifth on Stage 16, as he, Cadel Evans and Alberto Contador took time out of the other favorites on the descent into Gap.[13] However, on Stage 18, Sánchez lost time on the Col du Galibier and dropped to 8th overall.[14] On the following stage though, he and Contador attacked on Alpe d'Huez, with Sánchez finishing second to Pierre Rolland.[15] This result moved him up to 7th overall, and meant he had effectively King of the Mountains competition as there were no climbs remaining in the Tour. Sánchez moved ahead of Damiano Cunego in the final Time Trial to finish the Tour 6th overall and 5th after Contador's suspension, and winner of the mountains classification.[16]


In 2012, Sánchez's main focus was the Tour de France and the Olympic Games. He started the season in good form when he won the Tour of the Basque Country. He won stage 3, which was deemed as the queen stage of the race, shaking off Joaquim Rodríguez and Chris Horner on the last climb of the day, the steep Alto de Ustartza.[17] He then prevailed in the sixth and final stage, an individual time trial held in Oñati. He took the leader's jersey from Rodríguez winning the general classification by 12 seconds.[18] In July, bad luck struck on the eighth stage of the Tour de France where he crashed heavily on a narrow road after 60 kilometres (37 miles) of racing. Sanchez was forced to withdraw due to numerous injuries, namely a broken finger bone and a badly bruised upper back and shoulderblade.[19][20]


In 2013, Sánchez aimed for the Giro d'Italia. However, he only was able to finish 12th overall, despite still recovering from his injury he suffered during the previous year's Tour de France. After the Giro, Sánchez won stage 6 in the Criterium du Dauphiné after out sprinting Jakob Fuglsang.[21] The latter was his only victory of the year.

BMC Racing Team (2014–17)Edit

After the demise of the Euskaltel–Euskadi team, Sánchez and many former riders of the team faced difficulties securing new contracts for the 2014 season. However, on 2 February it was announced that Sánchez would ride for the BMC Racing Team. The Ardennes classics along with Grand Tours were stated as his main objectives.[22] After riding the Giro d'Italia in support of Cadel Evans, Sánchez led the BMC Racing Team at the Vuelta a España, where he finished sixth.[23] In addition he finished fifth in the Giro di Lombardia.[24] However he was not selected by the national coach Javier Mínguez for the UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada and was upset about it.[25]

In January 2015, BMC Racing Team announced that they had re-signed Sánchez for the 2015 season. The team's sporting manager Allan Peiper stated that Sánchez's role in the team would be similar to that in 2014, but with a greater focus on supporting and developing the team's younger riders.[24]

In the first months of 2016, Sánchez had better results than in his previous years at BMC Racing Team, and his contract was extended until the end of 2017.[26] Sanchez rode the Vuelta a España, but crashed out in the last time trial.[27]

In the 2017 Tour of the Basque Country, Sánchez was close to a stage victory, but crashed and was injured; this injury plagued him for the first half of the year. When asked if he was considering retirement, Sánchez responded that he did not know what he wanted yet, and that he would wait until after the Vuelta a España.[27] However, a few days before the Vuelta started, an out-of-competition doping test from Sánchez came back positive for the growth hormone releasing peptide GHRP-2, and he was therefore provisionally suspended, and not allowed to start the race.[28]


On 13 May 2019, the UCI, the sport's governing body, suspended Sánchez for two years, effective from his initial provisional suspension on 17 August 2017. The UCI accepted that the positive test came from a contaminated supplement, yet chose to suspend him nevertheless. While Sánchez could return to competition in August 2019, considered this unlikely given his age of 41.[29]

Major resultsEdit

3rd Road race, National Under-23 Road Championships
2nd Tro-Bro Léon
4th Overall Volta ao Algarve
10th Overall Tour of the Basque Country
2nd Tour du Haut Var
2nd Klasika Primavera
3rd Overall Tour of the Basque Country
5th Subida al Naranco
6th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
9th Overall Paris–Nice
1st Overall Escalada a Montjuïc
1st Stages 1a & 1b (ITT)
3rd Overall Euskal Bizikleta
4th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
4th Subida al Naranco
8th Overall Tour of the Basque Country
10th Overall Vuelta a Asturias
10th Gran Premio de Llodio
1st Overall Escalada a Montjuïc
1st Stage 1b (ITT)
2nd Overall Vuelta a Asturias
5th Züri-Metzgete
9th Clásica de San Sebastián
10th Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stage 13
1st Züri-Metzgete
1st Stage 3 Vuelta a Asturias
2nd Giro di Lombardia
2nd La Flèche Wallonne
4th Road race, UCI Road World Championships
4th Overall Paris–Nice
1st   Points classification
6th Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stages 2 & 3
7th Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stage 13
1st Stage 7 Volta a Catalunya
2nd Overall Escalada a Montjuïc
3rd Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stages 15, 19 & 20 (ITT)
3rd Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stage 6 (ITT)
3rd Giro di Lombardia
7th Road race, UCI Road World Championships
7th Overall Euskal Bizikleta
9th Overall Paris–Nice
Olympic Games
1st   Road race
6th Time trial
1st Stage 2b (ITT) Vuelta a Asturias
6th Overall Tour de France
7th Clásica de San Sebastián
1st Gran Premio de Llodio
2nd Overall Vuelta a España
2nd Giro di Lombardia
3rd UCI World Ranking
3rd Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st   Points classification
4th Road race, UCI Road World Championships
4th La Flèche Wallonne
4th Subida al Naranco
9th Overall Volta a Catalunya
10th Overall Vuelta a Asturias
10th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st Klasika Primavera
1st   Overall Vuelta a Burgos
1st   Points classification
1st Stages 2 & 5
2nd Overall Tour de France
4th Overall Paris–Nice
4th Overall Critérium International
5th Overall Volta ao Algarve
6th Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal
6th Giro di Lombardia
7th Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st   Points classification
1st Stage 4
8th UCI World Ranking
9th Clásica de San Sebastián
1st GP Miguel Induráin
3rd La Flèche Wallonne
4th Overall Vuelta a Burgos
1st Stage 1
5th Overall Tour de France
1st   Mountains classification
1st Stage 12
5th Overall Paris–Nice
6th UCI World Tour
6th Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stage 4
7th Clásica de San Sebastián
9th Overall Vuelta a Andalucía
10th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st   Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st   Points classification
1st Stages 3 & 6 (ITT)
2nd Overall Volta a Catalunya
1st Stage 6
2nd Giro di Lombardia
6th Overall Vuelta a Murcia
7th Amstel Gold Race
7th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
9th UCI World Tour
8th Overall Vuelta a Burgos
8th Overall Vuelta a España
9th Overall Critérium du Dauphiné
1st Stage 7
5th Giro di Lombardia
6th Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stage 9 (TTT) Tour de France
1st Stage 3 (TTT) Critérium du Dauphiné
1st Stage 1 (TTT) Vuelta a España
2nd Overall Tour de Yorkshire
4th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
6th Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stage 4
6th Overall Tour of California
6th La Flèche Wallonne
1st Stage 2 (TTT) Volta a Catalunya

Grand Tour general classification results timelineEdit

Grand Tour 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
  Giro d'Italia 17 12 24
  Tour de France DNF DNF 6 2 5 DNF 12
  Vuelta a España 15 10 7 3 2 8 6 DNF DNF
Did not compete
DNF Did not finish


  1. ^ "Samuel Sanchez joins BMC Racing for 2014". VeloNews. Competitor Group, Inc. 2 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  2. ^ Nick, Legan (14 July 2009). "Tour de France Pro Bike: Stage 12 winner Sammy Sanchez's Olympic champ bike". VeloNews. Competitor Group, Inc. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  3. ^ Urraburu, Benito (21 October 2012). "Euskaltel ya tiene completo su equipo para 2013 con diez nuevos fichajes" [Euskaltel team already full for 2013 with ten new signings]. El Diario Vasco (in Spanish). Grupo Vocento. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  4. ^ presents the 93rd Züri Metzgete – Championship of Zurich
  5. ^ Samuel Sanchez won the 15th stage of the Spanish Vuelta: Cycling, SportsYA in English[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ presents the 62nd Vuelta a España
  7. ^ "Olympic Games, Men's Road Race". BikeRadar. Archived from the original on 2012-04-06. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  8. ^ Shane Stokes (17 October 2009). "Gilbert triumphs in Lombardia". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Tour de France – 2010". 1994-12-01. Archived from the original on 2010-08-14. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  10. ^ 4/04/20120°C (2010-07-29). "Menchov takes third in Tour de France | SPORTS". The Moscow News. Archived from the original on 2011-12-18. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  11. ^ GMT (2011-07-14). "BBC Sport – Tour de France 2011: Sanchez wins stage 12 as Thomas fades". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  12. ^ Simon_MacMichael on 16 July 2011 – 16:27 (2011-07-16). "Tour de France Stage 14: Vanendert wins on the Plateau de Beille amid GC stalemate | | Road cycling news, Bike reviews, Commuting, Leisure riding, Sportives and more". Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  13. ^ Clarke, Les (19 July 2011). "Hushovd smashes breakaway for second stage win". Future plc. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
  14. ^ "Pro Cycling News". Daily Peloton. 2011-07-21. Archived from the original on 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  15. ^ GMT (2011-07-22). "BBC Sport – Tour de France: Andy Schleck takes yellow on stage 19". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  16. ^ [1] Archived July 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Samuel Sanchez Takes Queen Stage, Yellow in Tour of Basque Country (4 April 2012). "Samuel Sanchez Takes Queen Stage, Yellow in Tour of Basque Country". The Epoch Times. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  18. ^ "Sanchez wins TT to take Basque title". Yahoo! Eurosport. TF1 Group. 7 April 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  19. ^ Fotheringham, Alasdair (9 July 2012). "Sánchez recounts tale of broken finger and broken Tour dreams". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  20. ^ Fotheringham, Alasdair (8 July 2012). "Samuel Sanchez withdraws from the Tour de France". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  21. ^ Jean-François Quénet (8 June 2014). "Sanchez sprints to stage win at Superdévoluy". Future plc. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  22. ^ "BMC signs Samuel Sanchez". Cycling News.
  23. ^ "Contador seals overall 2014 Vuelta a España victory". Future plc. 14 September 2014. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
  24. ^ a b "BMC re-signs Samuel Sánchez". 23 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  25. ^ "Sanchez angry after not being selected for World Championships". Future plc. 23 September 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  26. ^ "Sammy Sanchez extends with BMC Racing". Cyclingnews. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  27. ^ a b Fotheringham, Alasdair (3 August 2017). "Samuel Sanchez holding off retirement decision until Vuelta a Espana". Cyclingnews. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  28. ^ "Samuel Sanchez tests positive in out-of-competition control". Cyclingnews. 17 August 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  29. ^ "Samuel Sanchez suspended for two years". 13 May 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2019.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit