Spaniard Carlos Sastre issued a public apology for the bitter rant he gave during the Tour de France's second rest day in Martigny on Monday. The defending Tour champion criticized the press for focusing solely on Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador, and called the race "boring".
On Friday, Sastre recognized his mistake and apologised, saying he was in a "bad frame of mind" when he spoke to the media that day and "voiced some fairly tactless opinions".
"Regardless of my professional opinion of each journalist, I made the mistake of generalising in my criticisms when not all journalists and not all cyclists are the same. There are many professionals and journalists who have always treated me well, to say the least, especially during and after my victory in the 2008 Tour.
"Also, I don’t think I showed a good attitude towards my team mates and assistants because they’ve been making an effort to help me and I haven’t always accepted their help very graciously. I hope to have learned from this situation so that it won’t happen again in the future."
The Tour de France has been a difficult race for Sastre, who sits in 15th place overall, 17:23 down on overall leader Alberto Contador. His performance is in stark contrast to his brilliant Giro d'Italia where he took two stage wins and finished fourth overall. It is his worst Grand Tour since he last played a domestique role for Ivan Basso in the 2006 Giro.
"For various reasons, despite believing that I’d come to this Tour in excellent physical condition, in a good frame of mind and well-prepared, the truth is that I’ve felt something was wrong since the beginning; things weren’t going as I’d expected. I tried to pull myself together and perhaps I made the mistake of becoming too absorbed in myself and taking my problems out on others.
Sastre, normally a gracious and sportsmanlike competitor, said he has gotten over his foul mood, and apologised to "the media, my teammates and all the fans who I’ve let down."