Carlos Sastre has described his decision to ride this year's edition of the Giro d'Italia in addition to the Tour de France as 'masochistic' but is relishing the challenge of another assault on Italy's national tour.
Speaking in a video chat where fans asked questions through Facebook and Twitter, the 2008 Tour de France champion explained that his experience in the 2009 Giro prompted him to return to the race. Last year he finished third overall following the suspension of runner-up Danilo Di Luca.
"Last year left me feeling good and I wanted to start like this in 2010," said Sastre. "I think the Giro is the most dramatic race and therefore this year I have opted for it again."
Whilst Sastre went into last year's Tour de France as the title holder, he faded in the final week of the race to finish 17th overall in Paris. He refuted suggestions that his Giro effort - which earned him two stage wins - hurt his campaign in July.
"This year I will do what I did last year. There were people who said I had gone too well in the Giro which took its toll in the Tour, but I think they are two completely different competitions, which have nothing to do [with each other]," said Sastre.
"I think I'm a little masochistic, I like to be hit twice with the same stone and I want to try [to ride both races]," he added.
The 34-year-old Madrileño believes he can capitalise on his performance in last year's Giro and earn another podium spot because the course for this year's edition "benefits climbers, so there's the motivation and desire to do something important," he explained.
"Without thinking too much about the Tour, I am aware that the Giro is my first goal of the year," continued Sastre. "I'm preparing well and want to get in the condition necessary for a race of this category."
Sastre stressed that his focus is primarily on the Giro for the time being but said that there are elements to each of the three grand tours that he likes this year.