Giro d'Italia: Carlos Sastre minimizes time gaps in opening time trial
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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Giro d'Italia: Carlos Sastre minimizes time gaps in opening time trial

by VeloNation Press at 7:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

Carlos SastreLast year's third place finisher Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) finished today's short Giro d'Italia time trial in 42nd place, but more importantly, the Spanish climber completed the test against the clock only 25 seconds slower than stage winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky).  With four mountain stages and a mountain time trial in the last 8 days of the Giro, Sastre was happy to keep the time gaps to a minimum and is looking forward to what lies ahead.

“This test has been really important for me and frankly, I'm feeling happy. Losing 25 seconds to a rider like Wiggins in a prologue like this one, which has been such a powerful stage, and being a few seconds behind important riders like Ivan Basso who will be my direct adversaries in the mountain stages, is a positive result,” Sastre said after the stage.

The 2008 Tour de France winner has been somewhat of a question mark after taking a long break from racing following his failed title defense last year.  He went from July until the end of March this year before taking the start at the Volta a Catalunya.  He rode anonymously in the week-long race, and then was forced to miss valuable racing miles in the Classics due to grounded flights caused by the eruption of volcano Eyjafjallajökull.  Sastre was finally able to make it north for Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but finished well down the standings in 115th place.

“After so much time without many competitions to gauge my fitness level and with only the training series that I've done to guide me, I needed to know how I would do against my rivals," he explained.

Judging by his performance today the 35 year old's experience seems to have paid off, but he also feels fortunate that the weather was good to him. "The first part was pretty technical and the second part was pure power," he added.  "The weather was so-so but I was lucky enough to ride on a practically dry road surface, which I think has definitely been an advantage to me.”

Sastre is taking the race one stage at a time and is already thinking about tomorrow's stage.  Stages two and three should be for the sprinters, but if crosswinds become a reality there could be some splits in the peloton.

“Now we have to focus on the race. We’ve got some busy and difficult stages tomorrow and the following day and now we need to recover and keep pushing forward in the Giro," he concluded.

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