Carlos Sastre rode the last six kilometers of the Giro d'Italia's third stage “practically standing” on a teammate's bike which was too small for him. The Geox-TMC rider finished 1:14 behind stage winner Angel Vicioso, and some 53 seconds behind the race favourites.
The Spaniard crashed on the descent of the final climb, the category three Madonna delle Grazie, near the end of the race. He was uninjured, but broke both wheels.
"In the final part of the race, with just ten kilometers left before the finish line, my teammate (Mauricio) Ardila gave me his bike, which meant that I was able to finish the stage losing as little time as possible,” Sastre wrote on his personal website.
“His bike is a lot smaller than mine and I did the last six kilometers practically standing, I could hardly sit down as we are different heights and I really had to give it my all to complete the last six kilometers without losing too much time.”
Sastre is 1,73m tall, with Ardila eight centimeters shorter at 1,65.
Sastre admitted that it was not easy to think of his problems on the stage in light of the news of Wouter Weylandt's death.
“Commenting on the third stage of the Giro is not an easy task considering the loss of Weylandt. It is a situation that none of us were expecting and that no-one wanted, but this is what has tragically happened in this Giro d'Italia.
“The news of the loss of this young man is hard and difficult for all of us, but that is cycling and now we just have to keep looking towards the future, and send all our love to all his family, his teammates and everyone who was close to him,” Sastre said.