Carlos Sastre ended his 14-year career with win in yesterday's Criterium of Oviedo. "It was a very special day for everything - for the environment I've lived in, for the reception of my peers... they can say goodbye by making me feel appreciated after all this time fighting out on the road," said Sastre. "The truth is that it was an exciting day that I really enjoyed."
The 36-year-old from Madrid, whose career highlight was undoubtedly an overall win in the 2008 Tour de France, announced his retirement a few weeks ago and was happy to be bowing out. "It's time to say goodbye to many years of suffering, defeats, joys, a lot of experiences, all of them memorable - the truth is that I am happy I made the decision. I've been in professional cycling all these years and, especially, have been able to shine and do what I liked," he continued.
Sastre won't be completely walking away from the sport, however. "From January 1 there will open a small parenthesis in my life, but I want so much to continue to be involved in this sport, in one way or other in the near future I will be.
"In the short term I will continue working as I have done so far with the Foundation Víctor Sastre, without any responsibility, as a hobby, but enjoying time with children and other cyclists without so much stress, and with all those who have been to me a stimulus for improvement and learning.
"The truth is that I feel happy because it has been a very good time, very important in my life, both personally and sporting. Saying goodbye to the homage of my colleagues, having been on the podium of the Tour of Spain with my own team has been very special to me. Thanks and a big hug to everyone," added Sastre.