Sanchez wins Basque title

Spanish Olympic champion Sanuel Sanchez wins the 52nd Tour of the Basque Country by clinching final day's time-trial.

    Sanchez, centre, overhauled the nine-second lead of overnight leader Joaquin Rodriguez, left, in the time-trial [EPA] 

    Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez won the Tour of Basque Country by overtaking fellow Spanish cyclist Joaquin Rodriguez during Saturday's final stage.

    Sanchez, riding for local favourite Euskatel-Euskadi, cruised through steady rainfall to clock the fastest mark in the 11.7-mile time trial around the medieval village of Onati.

    "It was a dangerous course for all of us,'' Sanchez said about the wet conditions.

    "Each rider takes the risks that he wants to run. I took just enough risks and enjoyed the time trial.''

    The 34-year-old Sanchez came in third in the event both in 2007 and 2009.

    'Dream' performance

    "Little by little, I am fulfilling all the dreams I have had since I was a child, making the podium and winning the mountain classification in the Tour, the Olympic medal and, now, the Tour of Basque Country,'' he said.

    Rodriguez was runner-up overall 12 seconds back, while Bauke Mollema of the Netherlands came third in the race's 52nd edition.

    Rodriguez entered the sixth and final day nine seconds ahead of Sanchez, but the Movistar rider finished the stage in sixth place, 21 seconds off the winner's pace.

    "I'm very happy with my performance,'' Rodriguez said.

    "I'm not a specialist of races against the clock, but I think I'm improving. That's obviously good news for big stage races.

    "Unfortunately, Sanchez today was really great. He knows these routes very well.''



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