This year's Tour de France winner, Carlos Sastre from Team CSC Saxo Bank, has publicly announced his will to defend his victory in the 2009 edition of the event. Speaking at a Safety and Health at Work Congress in Burgos, Spain, which he inaugurated, Sastre confirmed his intention to return to the Tour de France, and said he was going to race the Giro d'Italia as well.
"It is very likely that my goals for the next season will be centred around the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia," Sastre said. "But it will be in December, at the first meeting and training camp of the team, that the race programme will be defined. Then, we will decide in which races I am going to participate."
Sastre, who has signed for the new Cervélo TestTeam, reiterated that he was very happy with his choice for next year. "It's a beautiful and important challenge," he said. "I am tremendously motivated."
Speaking of rivaling with Lance Armstrong – at the Giro and possibly at the Tour – the Spaniard did not worry about the American's fitness at this point in time. "He's won seven Tours and nobody in the world has ever done that," Sastre said. "But it's nothing that takes up any of my energy at the moment. I mean, I don't ask myself if he will be stronger than the rest of us, or how his form is going to be, or any of that. For sure, his comeback has been highly exposed in the media – and this for a reason – but until I see him on a bike, it's nothing that I really think about."
Sastre nevertheless looked forward to competing against Armstrong in a Grand Tour as a team leader and GC contender. "It would be my first chance to beat him and that of course motivates me," he said, adding that he doubted the American would race the Tour de France as well as the Giro. "When he was at the top, he only ever entered one of the three Grand Tours, so I can't imagine him doing two next year. I've never seen him do it and I really doubt he will."
As for himself, the 2008 Tour de France winner will most likely not race the Vuelta a España in his homeland, which has been a regular goal for him since 2003. "I don't see myself racing three Grand Tours the same season," he concluded, even though he did so in 2006.