Sastre primed for yellow jersey challenge
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Friday, July 25, 2008

Sastre primed for yellow jersey challenge

by Agence France-Presse at 6:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
With the emergence of a new generation of potential champions, Carlos Sastre is well aware his chance to secure the Tour de France yellow jersey may be his last.

The 33-year-old Spaniard goes into the penultimate stage time trial on Saturday with a 1min 34sec lead on his main yellow jersey rival Cadel Evans of Australia.

Evans is a far more accomplished time triallist than Sastre. However, the Spaniard said he is ready to finish off the good work throughout the race of his CSC team. "It's the chance of a lifetime for me. It will be a hard time trial but I will go out and try to defend this jersey," said Sastre following the 19th stage Friday won by Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel of Cofidis. "I've already rode over the course and I will do it again in the morning. Physically I feel great and I'm not sick so there's no reason for me to give anything less than my maximum."

As the race leader Sastre will start last and have the benefit of chasing after Evans, whose time splits are likely to be relayed to him via his radio earpiece from team boss Bjarne Riis in the team car.

Sastre will also be able to glean snippets of information from the teammates who have preceded him, the most crucial being two-time world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland. "I'm hoping to base my ride on the times of Fabian, who is the best in the world at this kind of event," added Sastre, who is aiming to be the third consecutive Spaniard after Oscar Pereiro (2006) and Alberto Contador (2007) to win the race. "I've waited for this day all my life, but I'm relaxed. Throughout the whole Tour the team has given everything. Now it's up to me to finish the job."

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