One of those who will be helping Sastre try to win the Vuelta is CSC team-mate Stuart O'Grady. The Australian seemed psyched yesterday evening, saying that he and the team were looking forward to a good race. "I am feeling good, I am ready to rock and roll. We have a very strong team here and are very motivated. Carlos has put his hand up and said he is ready to have a crack at the GC, so the whole team are here at his service. If you look at the guys here, it is a fresh team with a lot of experience.
"I am really happy to be here. It has been a bit of a dodgy start to the season for me [due to injury – ed.] but I finished the Tour de France fresh and ready to race. It is important to me to try to do something in the rest of the year."
O'Grady has a specific goal in mind. "In this race I am at the service of the team, being here to help Carlos. But my person ambitions are for the world championships in Austria.
"We have heard a lot of reports about the course. I think if I had seen the parcours before Verona, I wouldn't have gone. I have heard it not as hard as Verona but harder than Madrid, so I think it is going to be right up my alley. After that, I will go Paris-Tours and then call it a day after that, heading back to Australia for a break."