With about 600m to go, Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam) launched an attack toward the finish line of stage five of the Giro d'Italia ending atop Alpe di Suisi. It was enough for the win, but it showed the Spaniard is riding with good form.
"In the final straight, I thought that the last 400 metres were going to be flatter and I gave it a go," said Sastre, "but Denis Menchov (Rabobank) rode past me in top form, accompanied by (Danilo) Di Luca, and I just didn't have the strength to keep up. I lost a few seconds but I hope that they won't be too important considering the hard stages that remain in this year's Giro d'Italia."
Sastre was not surprised with how stage five turned out. "As we all expected, the fifth stage of this year's Giro has been a decisive stage, which we knew would give us more pointers on what we could expect to happen overall.
"A natural selection of a large group took place yesterday, and today we have probably seen the riders that are looking for a victory in this race. I think that this group has been narrowed down to around seven riders and perhaps we can look at this group for the final results of the race."
Sastre also complimented the efforts of the Liquigas team of favorite Ivan Basso. "It was a fast stage and the last stretch had a 25-kilometre climb that was ridden at a lightning pace. The Liquigas team has carried out a tough job to support Ivan Basso, and although I didn't feel at my best, I didn't feel bad either and that allowed me to stay among the best riders."