By Antonio J. Salmerón
Tour de France champion Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel) and Carlos Sastre (Team CSC), second in the recent Vuelta a España, will headline the traditional end of Spanish season, the Criterium of the Spanish Professional Cyclists Association (ACP) that is slated to take place in Boadilla del Monte, Madrid, October 28.
Sastre attended the presentation of the event at Boadilla del Monte's city hall, along with its mayor, Arturo González, the councilman of the sports, Alfonso Rodríguez, and ACP President, José Gómez.
The 32 year-old Spaniard of Denmark-based Team CSC assured that he will race the criterium "without the typical stress and tension of a high-level competition, appealing more to the children and the public."
Sastre spoke of his 2008 season. "Once the routes of the three grand three-week races are known we will decide which ones are best suited for my abilities." He added with certainty, "I will race the Tour."
The Criterium of the ACP will include 48 professional riders, who will be divided into two heats. 15 will be classified to challenge the final race. Sastre will head the second heat, which also includes Oscar Pereiro, Ezequiel Mosquera, José Angel Gomez Marchante, José Luis Rubiera, David De La Fuente and Marcos Serrano, among others. The first heat will be led by Contador, Samuel Sánchez, Carlos Barredo, Daniel Moreno, Luis Pérez Rodriguez, Angel Edo, Juan José Cobo, Iván Gutiérrez and 16 others.
This race also includes a team time trial and a children's race. Commemorative plaques will be presented to Luis Pérez Rodriguez and Angel Edo, both who are retiring.
Moreover, in Mula (Murcia), Caisse d'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde, Joaquím Rodríguez, José Joaquín Rojas, Francisco Pérez and Luis León Sánchez will pay tribute to León León Sánchez, in a mountain-bike race, which is rated for the regional circuit. Sánchez died in a quad bike accident in October, 2005.