CSC's Tour de France is getting better and better. In yesterday's stage 16, Carlos Sastre moved up to fourth place, when Denis Menchov (Rabobank) and Christian Vande Velde (Garmin Chipotle - H30) lost time on the treacherous descent of the Cime de la Bonette-Restefond.
But the stage started out tough for Sastre. "The stage started out very fast. In the first 409 kilometres there were constant attacks, until the break finally formed."
From then on CSC did things right once again, according to Sastre. "From there [the beginning of the break], the team controlled the race very intelligently. The work in the first climb and down the descent to the beginning if the Bonette was sensational."
The Bonette itself didn't go quite as planned. "The strong headwinds didn't help us. The wind was blowing the entire climb." The flags of the fans were flying widely in the wind, underlining Sastre's words.
Sastre was once again happy with the team. "The team was solid once again. It was a day that wore everybody out. We dictated the pace on the two passes. Two of the top six lost time. The most important are the seconds that Denis Menchov lost in the descent."
Sastre was already thinking about L'Alpe d'Huez. "Tomorrow [Wednesday] is maybe the last opportunity to topple Evans and Menchov before the final time trial."