Photo: International Olympic Committee
Despite the loss of reigning Olympic road race gold medalist Samuel Sanchez and three-time world champion Oscar Freire due to injury, Spain’s cycling contingent is determined to get back to the top of the podium in London.
Team manager Jose Luis de Santos is already in the British capital and is awaiting the arrival Wednesday afternoon of Jonathan Castroviejo, Jose Joaquin Rojas, Luis Leon Sanchez Gil, Alejandro Valverde and Francisco Ventoso, who will compete for Spain in Saturday’s men’s road race.
“There’s no doubt this isn’t the team we expected and that both Oscar and Samuel are two significant losses, the former our great figure in these Games and the latter the reigning Olympic champion,” De Santos said in a statement.
Samuel Sanchez had to withdraw from the Olympics after a crash during the Tour de France left him with a dislocated shoulder and possible broken collarbone.
“But we’ve assembled a great team, a group of cyclists who have great rapport, great camaraderie and I think this is always the key on any team. All are super motivated, at a great level, and extremely eager, aware that we’re defending the Olympic title and that we’re going to put all our energy and dreams into defending it,” De Santos said.
The manager said Valverde and Sanchez Gil are Spain’s biggest hopefuls in the men’s road race, noting that both did well at this year’s Tour de France.