Sastre confirms for Giro, no word yet on Tour or Vuelta plans
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sastre confirms for Giro, no word yet on Tour or Vuelta plans

by Conal Andrews at 7:02 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre achieved his best results of the season in the Giro d’Italia, netting two stages, and the Spaniard has revealed that he intends to compete there again.

“After analyzing the routes of the three Grand Tours and discussing them with the Cervélo TestTeam sports directors, I’ve decided to participate in the Giro d’Italia,” he said today.

He was third overall this June, subject to the disqualification of Danilo di Luca. He also won the mountain stages to Monte Petrano and Vesuvius.

“I had a great time at the Giro and I want to go back. The fact that I haven’t won this race gives me special motivation, and the route is very attractive for a rider with my characteristics. It is a really important opportunity.”

Sastre has ridden the race on three occasions, placing 38th overall in 2002 and then finishing 43rd in 2006 while helping his then-CSC team-mate Ivan Basso to win. They were also part of the winning squad in the team time trial.

Now riding with the Cervélo Test Team, he has said that he is not going to make any quick decisions about what other Grand Tours he will ride in 2010. He had a disappointing showing in this year’s Tour de France, placing 17th overall and stating afterwards that he was physically and mentally exhausted after a very busy schedule. He may decide to head back there and chase a placing that more reflects his abilities.

Alternatively, he may opt to focus his energies on winning the Vuelta a España, a race where he has previously finished second overall.

“For the moment, I’ve only planned up to the Giro,” he said. “I’ve got time to decide on the rest of my calendar and I want to do it according to how I feel. There’s no pressure about what to choose, and the next race I ride in will be because I feel ready to take on this new opportunity,” said Sastre.

However, with competition fierce for wildcard places for the Tour de France, he may be under pressure to commit before organisers ASO make the decision about which teams to invite.

In October the L’Equipe newspaper – which has close links to ASO – assessed the chances of various teams being invited. It deemed the Garmin-Slipstream, Radioshack, Sky and Katusha teams as being the most likely to get the nod, with Cervélo next in line. Sastre’s possible absence from the lineup would decrease its chances, and so Cervélo may require him to make a commitment about doing the race.

What has been confirmed is his schedule leading up to the Giro. He’ll make his debut in the Volta a Catalunya, running from March 22 to 28, and then he will do the Amstel Gold Race on April 18th and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, one week later. He may add another race before the Giro, but this is not yet certain.

Before then, he will train with his team in the Algarve, staying in the Vila Nova de Cacela from January 10 until 24th. The official presentation of the Cervélo TestTeam will take place there on January 17.

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