Tour de France 2012: Samuel Sanchez May Be Taking Final Shot At Title

At 34 years old, team Euskaltel-Euskadi leader Samuel Sanchez will be one of the oldest contenders at the 2012 Tour de France. The Spaniard has had a productive career, but he is still missing a title on cycling's biggest stage. The SB Nation blog Podium Cafe writes that Sanchez is running out of time, and that this year may very well be his last good chance to climb the podium. With that said, Sanchez hasn't lost his legs yet:

As I just noted, Sam San is 34 this year so the clock is ticking on his ability to make a TdF podium or produce an upset win like Carlos Sastre did in 2008 at age 33. You never know when an aging GC rider loses that special little bit extra where he goes from GC heavyweight to afterthought to retired until its already happened. Sastre retired only three years after winning the Tour. Guys like Menchov, Leipheimer, Evans, Basso, Scarponi, Kloden, Horner: some have already slipped; all eventually will succumb.

So is Samu past his due date? Judging from his results so far this year, no. Since his late 20's he's been a pretty consistent rider and this year he's had the best first half of any year for him:

  • 6th overall at Murcia
  • 2nd overall at Catalunya where he might have won if the queen stage hadn't been snowed out.
  • 1st at Pais Vasco
  • two 7th place finishes at Amstel Gold and Liege-Bastogne-Liege
Sanchez will have an experienced team with him to help along the way. He is among the favored riders at the Tour de France, though Bradley Wiggins and defending champion Cadel Evans are understandably at the top of the heap.

Stay up to date with Tour de France news by visiting SB Nation's Podium Cafe.

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