The 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre travelled to Galicia for the start of the Vuelta, a race he took part in on ten occasions and finished second twice (in 2005 and 2007) and third once (in 2008).
“I keep watching the biggest races on TV: the Giro, the Tour and of course the Vuelta”, said the former champion who retired in Avila two years ago. “I ride my bike once in a while but only for pleasure, not to perform. Cycling has been my sport since I was eight years old. I’ve really enjoyed the Tour this year. It’s been beautiful with Purito and Valverde fighting for the podium. There was a clear favorite for the yellow jersey but second and third places remained open till the end. I didn’t attend the gathering of the Tour de France finishers in Paris because I was busy with an event of the Isabel Gemio foundation [against rare childhood diseases].” He’s also busy with another project held by the Victor Sastre foundation [in the name of his father]: “We’re going to take 450 school children of Avila on the road to teach them how to use their bike safely.” His former sports director Alex Sans Vega now with NetApp-Endura interfered to help him receive eight bikes from Fuji for that.
“I’ve had a look at the course of the coming Vuelta”, Sastre said. “It’s going to be a great race. The course is very good for Spanish climbers. The way Vincenzo Nibali won the Giro was impressive but I think he’ll focus on the world championship more. My old team, now Saxo-Tinkoff, looks very good as a group. Roman Kreuziger was very strong at the Tour de France but I’m not sure if he can do two Grand Tours like that. I’d like to see him fighting for the win. There are two important parts in the Vuelta: the beginning will be very nervous and time can be lost in small hills and the final part with the Pyrenees and the Angliru is where the race can be won. It’ll be interesting from the start. I’m a fan of cycling and a fan of the Vuelta. I feel close to the riders of my generation like Purito and Valverde who are still racing for the overall victory.”