Sastre and Menchov team up in Vuelta a Murcia
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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Sastre and Menchov team up in Vuelta a Murcia

by VeloNation Press at 11:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Season debut for former Tour de France champion

Carlos SastreThe 2008 Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre will finally get his season underway in the Vuelta a Murcia tomorrow, where he will join up with Geox-TMC co-leader Denis Menchov in the three day event.

The duo will be backed by GP Lugano runner-up and former world under 23 champion Fabio Duarte, as well as Juan Jose Cobo, David Blanco, David De la Fuente, the in-form Arkaiz Duran and Rafael Valls

"For me the first race is important, because until now all that was done was training,” Sastre said. “After the training camp that the team did in Tarragona in early January, I had no other contact with the other riders. For me it's important to do so [start racing] in a relatively quiet race, but also one which is as important for me as is the Tour of Murcia.”

The 35 year old is embarking on his first season with the Geox-TMC team and wants a fresh start after two difficult years with Cervélo. He said that he took on too much responsibility there, and wants to be able to concentrate totally on his racing for the final period of his career.

With the team not being invited to the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España are likely to be the two main goals for himself and Menchov this season. The Vuelta a Murcia is also important for Sastre, in that it will let him know how he is going in terms of his condition.

“There are three stages that are, for me, three important tests to check how these two months of preparation have gone and to know how things are going in the face of the most important goals that I will have this season,” he explained.

“They are three tests, as I say: a flat stage, a mountain stage and a time trial, in which I can measure my strength against the other riders, and learn a little more through efforts that can only be achieved in competition.”

While Sastre is unlikely to be fighting for the overall honours in the first race of his season, a solid showing there would boost his morale in advance of the races ahead.

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