Sastre returns to racing this Sunday
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sastre returns to racing this Sunday

by Conal Andrews at 9:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Physical and mental exhaustion saw the 2008 Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre take a complete break after this year’s Tour; the Spaniard is now set to make a return to racing in the Criterium de Oviedo on Sunday.

The race is dedicated to the Asturian rider Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), the reigning Olympic champion.

"After the tour I made myself take a complete break to recover physically and mentally, giving up races, public appearances and criteriums,” said Sastre. “But there have been two which I could not refuse. One is that of the Association of Professional Cyclists, because I understand that professionals have to collaborate with the Association, and another is the tribute to Samu [Sanchez] because in addition to being a fellow cyclist, he is a good friend,” he stated.

Sastre took two stage victories plus fourth overall in this year’s Giro d’Italia, although the latter result may improve to third if Danilo di Luca is disqualified due to doping.

He then went on to defend his title in the Tour de France, but was off-form during the race and could only finish 17th overall.

It was his fourth consecutive Grand Tour after his 2008 Tour victory plus his third overall in the Vuelta a España. This block of racing plus the off-bike commitments he had after his Tour win meant that he was completely worn out.

The Cervélo Test Team rider is now preparing for the 2010 season, and hopes to be back to full fitness after his break.

2009 Tour champion Alberto Contador (Astana) and Vuelta a España winner Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) will also compete in the Oviedo event. There will be a full programme of racing, with youth competitions preceding the elimination, points race and team time trial for the professionals.


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