Samuel Sánchez

For the Mexican footballer, see Samuel Sánchez Arellano.
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Sánchez and the second or maternal family name is González.
Samuel Sánchez

Sánchez at the 2015 Tour de France
Personal information
Full name Samuel Sánchez González
Nickname Samu, Sammy
Born (1978-02-05) 5 February 1978
Oviedo, Spain
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 68 kg (150 lb)
Team information
Current team BMC Racing Team
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type All-rounder
Professional team(s)
2000–2013 Euskaltel–Euskadi
2014– BMC Racing Team
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 Indurain (2011)
Infobox last updated on
2 February 2014

Samuel "Sammy" Sánchez González[1] (born 5 February 1978) is a Spanish professional road bicycle racer, with the BMC Racing Team.[2] He was the gold medal winner in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Men's Road Race. In recent years Sánchez has proven himself in hilly classics and stage races as one of the most important riders in the peloton. He's 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 Tour of the Basque Country in 2012 and five stages of the Vuelta a España.


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 career

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 the Asturian 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 (just like the year before) with a daring attack in a downhill section and finished 7th in the general classification. At the World Championships in the Austrian city of Salzburg Sánchez played a major part by creating the decisive break in the final kilometer 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 km to go he attacked to solo into Zurich 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

The next season 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 downhilling skills to catch Beltrán in the descent to Granada. Beltrán asked Samuel to let him win, but the Euskaltel rider denied him such satisfaction because he wanted to dedicate this win to his son, expected to be born in March 2008. Sánchez won some meters and reached the finish line excited 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 men's 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 km to go, Sánchez and a two others escaped and were only caught when Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara, Russian Alexander 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]


Sánchez's won the GP Llodio. 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 kilometers to keep the chasers at bay during the descent and Sánchez lost the sprint by half a bike length.[8]


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 for that event 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 favorites heading into the 2011 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 GC 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 GC 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 Contadors suspension, and winner of the Polka Dot Jersey.[16]


Sanchez at the 2015 Tour de France. Note, the gold accents on the jersey cuffs and collar demonstrate Sanchez has been a former Olympic champion.

In 2012, Sanchez 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 leaders' jersey off the shoulders of Rodriguez with that operation, and won the general classification with an advantage of 12 seconds over the Team Katusha rider.[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 kilometers 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, Sanchez 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, Sanchez won stage 6 in the Criterium du Dauphiné after out sprinting Jakob Fuglsang.[21] The latter was his only victory of the year.


After the demise of the Euskaltel team, Sanchez and many former riders of the team faced difficulties securing new contracts for the 2014 season. However, on February 2 it was announced that Sanchez 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, Sanchez led team BMC Racing Team at the Vuelta a España, where he finished sixth.[23] In addition he finished fifth in Il Lombardia.[24] However he was not selected by the national coach Javier Minguez for the World Championships in Ponferrada and was upset about it.[25]


In January 2015 BMC announced that they had re-signed Sanchez for the 2015 season. The team's sporting manager Allan Peiper stated that Sanchez'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]

Career achievements

Major results

2nd Tro Bro Leon
2nd Overall Tour du Haut Var
3rd Overall Tour of the Basque Country
6th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st Escalada a Montjuïc
4th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
1st Escalada a Montjuïc
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 World Road Race 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
3rd Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stages 15, 19 & 20 (ITT)
3rd Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stage 6
3rd Giro di Lombardia
1st Olympics Men's Road Race
1st Stage 2b Vuelta a Asturias
6th Overall Tour de France
1st GP Llodio
2nd Overall Vuelta a España
2nd Giro di Lombardia
3rd Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Points classification
4th La Flèche Wallonne
4th World Road Race Championships
1st Klasika Primavera
1st Overall Vuelta a Burgos
1st Stages 2 & 5
1st Points classification
1st Stage 4 Tour of the Basque Country
1st Points classification
2nd Overall Tour de France
4th Overall Paris–Nice
6th Giro di Lombardia
9th Clásica de San Sebastián
1st GP Miguel Indurain
3rd La Flèche Wallonne
5th Overall Paris–Nice
5th Overall Tour de France
1st Mountains classification
1st Stage 12
6th Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stage 4
4th Overall Vuelta a Burgos
1st Stage 1
1st Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stages 3 & 6 (ITT)
1st Points classification
2nd Overall Volta a Catalunya
1st Stage 6
2nd Giro di Lombardia
7th Amstel Gold Race
7th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
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 3 Critérium du Dauphiné (TTT)
12th Overall Tour de France
1st Stage 9 (TTT)
2nd Overall Tour de Yorkshire
4th Liège–Bastogne–Liège
6th Overall Tour of the Basque Country
1st Stage 4
6th La Flèche Wallonne
6th Overall Tour of California

Grand Tour general classification results timeline

Grand Tour 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Pink jersey Giro 17 12 24
Yellow jersey Tour WD WD 6 2 5 WD 12
red jersey Vuelta 15 10 7 3 2 8 6 WD WD

WD = Withdrew; In Progress = IP


  1. 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.
  2. "Samuel Sanchez joins BMC Racing for 2014". VeloNews. Competitor Group, Inc. 2 February 2014. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
  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
  6. presents the 62nd Vuelta a España
  7. "Olympic Games, Men's Road Race". BikeRadar. 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. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
  10. 4/04/20120°C (2010-07-29). "Menchov takes third in Tour de France | SPORTS". The Moscow News. 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.,0,7418265.story. Retrieved July 27, 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. "Pro Cycling News". Daily Peloton. 2011-07-21. 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. 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. 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. 1 2 "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.

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