Wednesday, January 26, 2022
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Olympic Champion, Samuel Sanchez’s Orbea Orca


When you talk about Orbea bicycles and the Euskaltel team, it’s about more than light alloy and carbon; it’s about people, national identity, unity and pride. We look at Samuel Sanchez’s Orbea Orca now. On the Tour, many of the teams will have the team vehicles parked ‘wagon train’ style or have ‘crime scene’ tapes to keep the civilians at bay. Not at Euskaltel.

Samuel Sanchez's Orbea Orca
Sammy doesn’t mind the interviews.

Riders, mechanics, kids, old folks, journos, camera crews and anyone else who’s in the neighbourhood mill around in happy confusion — but the job still gets done.

Samuel Sanchez's Orbea Orca
He has time for his fans too.
Samuel Sanchez's Orbea Orca
Sammy and his boy, plus Basque supporters.

In the midst of it all, rims get cleaned off ready to accept cement, rims are cemented, tubs are stuck on and Orcas get washed.

Samuel Sanchez's Orbea Orca
The disc’s rim is cleaned of old glue.
Samuel Sanchez's Orbea Orca
The first coat of new cement is carefully brushed on.
Samuel Sanchez's Orbea Orca
Tyres are fitted, and impressively no cement on the sidewall!
Samuel Sanchez's Orbea Orca
The remaining bikes are washed.

‘Vamoose!’ The cry goes up and the boys are off on their rest day leg loosener, lead by Olympic champion, Samuel Sanchez.

We’re here to have a look at Samuel’s gold high-lighted ‘special’ but since he’s just pedalled off on the beast; that will be difficult.

It’s no problem, head mechanic Tomas tells us they won’t be long and gets us up to speed on the basics, using Sammy’s ‘B’ bike which has an identical position and apart from the gold high-lights, BB30 bottom bracket and ceramic replacement bearings, is the same machine.

As regards the bracket, it will take BB30 or standard brackets with the addition of an alloy sleeve — and don’t worry about weight, it’s down nudgin