Giro d'Italia: Sastre crashes and loses big time in tough stage
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Giro d'Italia: Sastre crashes and loses big time in tough stage

by Bjorn Haake at 1:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Another crash for the Spaniard

Carlos SastreCarlos Sastre was the big loser of today's seventh stage in the Giro d'Italia, being involved in a crash that also brought down pink jersey Vincenzo Nibali. After a tough opening week the Spaniard was already down 2'13 and lost an additional 5'20 in today's rainy race.

It was Sastre's second crash, after already falling in stage one. Both times he hurt the same area on his shoulder. "Frankly, the stage was quite tough and difficult," a tired Sastre said after the race.

Sastre looked quite disappointed when he crossed the finish line with teammate Xavier Tondo, dirty from top to bottom. He knew he had lost his chance of an overall victory in Verona. Sastre is now 7'06 down on new race leader Alexander Vinokourov. Other favorites, like Cadel Evans, Ivan Basso and even Stefano Garzelli are also several minutes ahead of Sastre.

Despite the rain, the beginning of the race wasn't so bad for the Cervélo TestTeam rider. "It appeared everything was going fine, but that crash just when the pace picked up made the difference." In the descent of the Passo del Rospatoio several riders came down on the slippery road in a right hand bend. Nibali was quickly up and running but also missed to rejoin the front group. However, he kept his time loss at two minutes.

The crashed happened just before the first of two off-road sections were hit, so the pace had gone up significantly in the Vinokourov lead group. Sastre struggled to get back into his rhythm. "This [incident] was a bit of what changed the development of the stage."

He had the bad luck to fall on the same side that he already damaged in stage one. "I took quite a hit in the crash and the change of the bicycle did not work very well, either. I couldn't shift." Sastre had to ride on like this for quite some time. "The team car didn't come through until the end of the first gravel section," the Spaniard explained.

He knew it was of utmost importance to return to the group, but with the problems he had faced, it was an unachievable task. "In the last eight kilometers my mind wasn't there anymore," Sastre continued. "If it weren't for Xavi Tondo, who did an impressive job and was always by my side, I would have been off much worse."

Sastre took a hit but won't consider quitting. "The most important is that I recover from the fall and even though it is difficult, I still very much like to race here."

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