Domestiques prepare to shift focus
Carlos Sastre and his Cervélo TestTeam are looking towards the Tour de France's final week to make their move in the general classification after having survived the first three mountain stages of the race through the Pyrenees.
"For me, it was one day more of this Tour de France which I passed it without any difficulty," said Sastre, after stage nine to Tarbes. "It was a costly stage, with a lot of heat, and a high rhythm right from the gun that never slowed down. That's why there weren't a lot of attacks from any of the main GC riders."
Cervélo TestTeam went into this year's Tour de France targeting both the general and points classifications through co-captains, Sastre and Thor Hushovd, respectively.
Hushovd currently leads the green jersey competition. While the Norwegian will be able to count on the support of his team through the second week of the race, riders like Australian Brett Lancaster are preparing to shift their support to Sastre, as the Spaniard looks to claw back time on his rivals in the Alps.
"It's all going to be decided in the third week. Carlos is a pretty reserved guy. He says he's ready," said Brett Lancaster. "Everyone is working really well. We have a couple of guys for the flats, a couple of guys for the mountains and Carlos for the GC, so we'll see how it goes. It should be exciting."
"I am feeling really good. My body is a sort of a diesel engine, so I get stronger in the second week and even better in the third week," Lancaster said. "I cannot do too much in the mountains, but there are a lot of valleys between those mountains and I can protect him there and keep him out of the wind."
Heading into Monday's rest day Sastre sits in 16th place overall, 2:52 behind current yellow jersey wearer Rinaldo Nocentini.
"Tomorrow is the first rest day, in which we can recover our strength and face the rest of the race with the same hope and with the same motivation that I have right now," said Sastre.
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