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Spanish all-rounder Luis León Sánchez hopes to continue into 2010 his steady but improving trajectory that he’s enjoyed the past two seasons. With a stage victory at the Tour de France and taking one away from Alberto Contador at Paris-Nice, León Sánchez confirmed yet again he’s a rider who’s proving capable of fulfilling the high expectations placed on him.
“It was a very good year. In addition to winning some important races, I’ve continued to advance my professional career,” he said. “I’ve made another step forward especially in how to control a race. I feel mentally stronger and this is essential to keep improving in 2010 and to be at the front to challenge for the races.”
During the winter, he said he stayed out of the gym to avoid gaining too much muscle mass and rode the mountain bike to stay fit. He also married his longtime girlfriend and already has the Tour Down Under, which he won in 2005, as an early season goal.
For the rest of the upcoming season, he simply wants more of the same. “I’d like to repeat 2009 and win a race like Paris-Nice, which is little bit like my race because I’ve raced it every year since turning pro,” he said.
“Right now, I don’t have my calendar set, but I’d love to win another stage in the Tour de France and to be up front in the GC whether it be the Tour or the Vuelta, where I hope to with strength and motivation.”
León Sánchez, who turned 27 last month, said he’s not afraid of the new pressures put on him to perform in the sport’s most important events. “I’ve demonstrated I can win big races and when it’s my turn, I will try to take advantage of the opportunity but I will also work for Alejandro (Valverde) and others on the team when they need my help,” he said.
“I believe that the responsibilities are earned on the road, but at the same time, when you see you’re progressing, you only expect more from yourself.”