Carlos Sastre has indicated that in 2010 he'll again ride two grand tours in one season - although he hasn't yet decided whether he'll supplement his Tour de France appearance with one at the Giro d'Italia or Vuelta a España.
Sastre paid a visit to the Vuelta yesterday, the El Barraco resident making the trip to Ávila and announcing his plans for next season, which closely resemble those he executed this year.
"I am all but sure to race two grand tours. Of course, I will be back at the Tour. Whether I race the Giro or Vuelta depends on which course is better suited to my capabilities," said Sastre.
"Of course, the Vuelta has a special place in my heart. It's the race that's marked my career and helped me grow as a rider."
Despite not being a ProTour squad, the Cervélo TestTeam has ridden all three grand tours in 2009. Sastre's fourth overall in the Giro d'Italia was an obvious highlight in addition to Simon Gerrans' stage win in the same event Thor Hushovd's green jersey at the Tour de France and Heinrich Haussler's stage triumph in la grande boucle vindicating the squad's selection for these major races.
Sastre's Tour de France performance wasn't what he had hoped - as defending champion leading into the event, the Spaniard was looking to further consolidate his place at the top of the grand tour tree. A final placing of 17th overall in Paris wasn't in the plan, although he maintains perspective about his chances in France next season.
"Concerning next year, the Tour will once again be the top goal," he explained. "This year's Tour wasn't ideal for my style of riding, so let's see what they come up with for next year. I will attend the Tour presentation next month [in Paris], so I hope it has a lot of mountains."
And Philip Deignan's victory in yesterday's 18th stage of the Vuelta a España is further proof that the Cervélo crew has what it takes to be amongst the world's best despite lacking the official status of a ProTour squad. It was perfectly timed for the team captain's visit.
"I am very comfortable with this Cervélo team," added Sastre. "It's a project that we collaborated on and the truth is, things have gone very well. The victory for Philip reveals that it's a team that works together and is competitive in all the races."
Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world - twitter.com/cyclingnewsfeed