His career has been one of steady progression and, after finishing an aggressive second in the 2007 Vuelta a España, the obvious question is whether Carlos Sastre can now go on to win a Grand Tour. The 32 year-old Spaniard recently spoke to Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes about the season just passed and his goals for the year ahead:
Held back slightly by his time trialling but often one of the most aggressive in the mountains, Carlos Sastre has been one of the most consistent Grand Tour riders of the past few years. Consider his Grand Tour record: he finished 20th overall in his first Tour de France back in 2001, was tenth in 2002, took a stage win and finished ninth overall in 2003, then placed eighth in 2004, 21st in 2005 [while working for Ivan Basso], third in 2006 and fourth in 2007.
His Vuelta record shows a similar spate of top-ten results. In 2000 he won the king of the mountains classification and finished eighth overall. In 2004 he was sixth, in 2005 he was second to Dennis Menchov [following Roberto Heras' disqualification], in 2006 he was fourth and in 2007 he was runner-up, once again behind the Russian.
The CSC rider is clearly a very talented competitor. In 2006 he rode all three Grand Tours, and performed strongly. Other riders have completed the triple in the past, but finishing 43rd in the Giro [he worked for Basso], third in the Tour and fourth in the Vuelta illustrates his endurance, his capacity to work hard and his dedication to the sport. That showing plus his performances this year are things which give him particular satisfaction.
Read the entire Carlos Sastre interview here.