Sastre satisfied that he is back in the Giro d'Italia
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sastre satisfied that he is back in the Giro d'Italia

by Bjorn Haake at 1:48 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Finally a bit of luck for the Spaniard

Carlos Sastre is having a strange Giro d'Italia. After two crashes and racing on the Dutch classics terrain that he doesn't like, he was behind by almost ten minutes after a week and a half of racing. After today's stage 11, he is still seven minutes behind leader Richie Porte, but all of a sudden finds himself ahead of the previous top four and favorites, Alexander Vinokourov, Cadel Evans, Vincenzo Nibali and Ivan Basso.

Sastre jumped from 22nd to eighth, thanks to a massive 56-man breakaway that finished almost 13 minutes ahead of the peloton. "The 11th stage of this Giro d'Italia has given more to many, more to me and more to my team than we could have imagined and more than we could have hoped for," a satisfied Sastre said at the finish in L'Aquila.

Sastre was losing time almost every day since the start in Amsterdam. "After a super difficult and tough beginning for all of us and especially for me, a day like today put everything upside down," Sastre said with a smile.

He is not forgetting the work that was put in by two of his Cervélo TestTeam riders. "Words fail to describe the work that my teammates Gustov and Wyss have done today, who gave it all they had so that the break could establish. With that, in combination with the work of another three teams, we were able to successfully pull off this break."

The Spaniard now looks in a good position, with his preferred battleground - the high mountains - still to come. "I managed to do what I wanted and that is to return into this race, together with my teammate Xavi Tondo, who is doing a very nice Giro d'Italia."

Interestingly enough, when Sastre crashed in stage seven, Tondo waited and paced his captain to the finish line, 5'20 behind stage winner and Evans - and 3'38 behind Richie Porte. Porte now leads the race 3'54 ahead of Tondo, with the latter sitting in fourth place.

But Cervélo will now be looking to final overall victory in Verona, so fighting for the pink jersey for a short period of time is not in the cards. It is well known that Sastre is a good climber and today's stage played in his hands. "This was really a hard day due to several factors - the rain, the wind, the length of the stage and the more than 3000 meters of elevation gain that we had to overcome during the stage."

The grim face of the unlucky Sastre has vanished midway through the Giro. Back is the smiling happy-go-lucky Sastre. "With all the work and sacrifices we did... today everything worked out for us and we benefited 100 percent. I am very content that I returned to contest this race in a form that I really like."


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