Attacking is the only solution for Sastre

By Jean-François Quénet in La Toussuire After crossing the line in second position, Carlos Sastre...

By Jean-François Quénet in La Toussuire

After crossing the line in second position, Carlos Sastre summed it up this way: "The Tour is super crazy." And this is not the kind of cycling he's been used to since he joined CSC, coming from ONCE, four years ago. Everything was planned in the Danish outfit. After Lance Armstrong's retirement, Bjarne Riis set the goal of winning no less than the three Grand Tours this year. It's still possible with Sastre lying in second place on GC with only two crucial stages to go.

Sastre himself asked to ride the Giro only to help Ivan Basso in the mountains, although he was initially scheduled as the team captain for the Vuelta. In the past few days, he probably thought of riding the end of the Tour de France for the overall win but he never made it public. And even now, he still doesn't.

"I can only take it day by day," he commented. "Attacking is the only thing I have to do. It was only in the final climb that I realised that [Floyd] Landis wasn't well. That's why I attacked. I gave it my all. It's necessary to attack at the right moment. Tomorrow is another important day."

Riis confirmed, "It'll be another hard day. Today we're very happy with Carlos' nice stage. He can win the Tour but the favourite is Andreas Klöden." Yet there is Oscar Pereiro to catch first. Now Phonak might not be the only team to regret the scenario of stage 13 to Montélimar. On the eve of Pereiro's first rendezvous with the yellow jersey, taking over from Landis, CSC's assistant directeur sportif Alain Gallopin declared on a French radio station: "If I was directing Phonak, I'd have done the same. But not everyone in our team would." Today, Riis gave his view: "I didn't agree with Phonak. I'd have never let Pereiro go thirty minutes ahead, but we had Jens Voigt in the front."

After losing Basso prior to the start, CSC went for stage wins and did well with Voigt and Fränk Schleck, but with Pereiro being the only man ahead of Sastre on GC now, there might be some regrets. It can't be different in a "super crazy" Tour de France.

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