Luis León Sánchez (Astana Qazaqstan) (Image credit: Getty Images)
Buried somewhere deep in the archives of Cyclingnews , there’s an article about a 21-year-old rider claiming his first ever stage race at the 2005 Tour Down Under and how, as the article puts it, Spain’s Luis León Sánchez “has shown that he is the early bird of this season and also possibly a great name for the future.”
Sánchez claimed the 2005 Jacob’s Creek Tour Down Under , as Australia’s premier event was branded back then, by winning a mid-race stage in which a 26-strong group pulled out a staggering 30-minute gap on the rest of the peloton. That was quite a statement in itself, but the young Spanish racer earned himself even more compliments as he stayed in control of the TDU lead all the way through to the final criterium stage in Adelaide, won by a certain Robbie McEwen.
Fast forward 18 years and while McEwen and the vast majority of the 2005 peloton have long since hung up their wheels, Sánchez is limbering up for his 20th season in the peloton with a return to the Tour Down Under.
Since 2005, too, Sánchez has racked up a total of nearly 50 wins, including four stages of the Tour de France, an overall of Paris-Nice in 2009 when he outwitted no less a rival than Alberto Contador in his prime, and two victories in the Clásica San Sebastian. Last year when with Bahrain Victorious he didn’t get a win, but […]