Giro d’Italia: Sastre feeling “more optimistic” after sunny day
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Giro d’Italia: Sastre feeling “more optimistic” after sunny day

by Ben Atkins at 4:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Cervélo captain finally has a good day!

carlos sastre“We have finally had a sunny and pretty day in this year’s Giro d’Italia,” said Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) after finishing today’s stage of the Giro d’Italia in Bitonto. It has not been the best of races for the 2008 Tour de France winner, losing time on a number of stages due to crashes an ill-timed mechanical problems.

On stage 2 he lost 37 seconds after being caught behind a crash in the final 10km; the next day he lost another 46 in similar circumstances. Despite a good performance in the stage 4 team time trial, with Cervélo finishing in the same time as Alexandre Vinokourov’s Astana team, the tough stages of the past few days have seen him lose more time.

He lost 5’20” after crashing on the Epic stage 7 across the Tuscan white roads in horrific weather; the next day he lost exactly 2 minutes on the summit finish to Monte Terminillo; then yesterday, most cruelly of all, a puncture just as the peloton was accelerating in the last 20km, saw him lose another 1’49”.

Heading into the second half of the race Sastre sits in 22nd place, 9’59” behind Vinokourov, with no chance of challenging the Kazakh for pink.

Finally, with the weather improved, the Spaniard can look back at a day in the saddle where nothing went wrong. “It was a long stage and the last stretch was stressful,” he said of today’s 230km, “there were a lot of bends and we went through villages with worn roads with a danger of breaks from the wind, but even so I felt protected by my team mates and we got through the day without any problems.”

Having hit the pavement on more than one occasion in the race so far, Sastre has been suffering from a number of bumps and bruises. Thankfully for the Spaniard though, he is recovering from these aches and pains and looking forward to the rest of the race. “It’s still uncomfortable,” he said, “but I am much better now and I’m looking ahead to the rest of the race feeling more optimistic than I was in the last few days.”

With his lowly position overall Sastre may find that he is given a little more freedom than he is used to in chasing stage wins. In last year’s race he won two stages, including the one to the summit of Vesuvius, on the way to his third place overall. While the podium now looks out of reach, there are plenty of opportunities to repeat that stage-winning glory ahead.

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