Sastre satisfied with Dauphiné performance

Despite finishing in a fairly anonymous 20th overall, more than 12 minutes behind Alejandro...

Despite finishing in a fairly anonymous 20th overall, more than 12 minutes behind Alejandro Valverde, Team CSC's Carlos Sastre has said his preparation for the Tour de France is still going according to plan. The Spaniard was unable to ride with the leaders through the mountains and showed no signs of an improvement in his time trialing, finishing 65th on the stage three race against the clock.

"I went to the Dauphiné not to contest the race, but to test my form and progress after previous races," said Sastre. "In that sense I'm happy because I know I have four and a half weeks before the critical stages of the Tour. In these four weeks I know I have to make a large progression but I will start the Tour with the possibility for victory."

Besides his own condition, Sastre also insisted he was not worried about the form shown by other riders in the Alps, such as Alejandro Valverde and Cadel Evans. "There were four riders who were well above everyone else," he said. "I soon realised this and decided not to contest the overall. At this point, if I see I have no possibility to win, then I do not take risks. For me it is very important to avoid falls and other incidents, and see that every day I was more at ease on the bike.

"I was not the only rider who has gone unnoticed in this race," he added. "There are others who talk a lot about the Tour but have been very quiet here."

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