Carlos Sastre took a second magical stage win in the 2009 Giro d'Italia with victory on top of the world's most dangerous volcano, Monte Vesuvio. The win added to the one he captured at the end of the race's hardest day - Monte Petrano - and gives his newly founded Cervélo TestTeam confidence ahead of the Tour de France.
"They were two nice victories though my goal in this Giro was something more," Sastre told Cyclingnews. "We are happy with the three stage wins in our first Grand Tour. They [teammates] believed in me, which was very important."
The Spaniard's win came on day 19 of the three-week stage race, three days after his win on Monte Petrano. Australian teammate Simon Gerrans won the stage to Bologna's San Luca on Saturday.
Sastre had aimed to win the overall, though. He attributes his loss to Wednesday's stage to Blockhaus, an 83-kilometre, one-mountain stage.
"I made a mistake on the Blockhaus stage. Our rider [Philip Deignan - ed.] crashed ahead of the climb. I missed him and Volodimir Gustov, who had a bad crash ahead of the last rest day, for the climb. I tried attacking, and then I could not follow the others when they went ahead with their attacks."
Sastre is fourth overall at 2:40 behind race leader Denis Menchov (Rabobank) with two days left to race. He is too far behind, one minute and one second, to make the final podium following Sunday's 14.4-kilometre time trial, but will focus on defending his Tour de France win after the Giro d'Italia ends.
"This year my first goal was the Giro and the second will be the Tour de France. After this race, I will have a nice break to recover and be ready for the Tour, like I was for the Giro."
Sastre won the 2008 Tour de France by 58 seconds over Cadel Evans. He finished on the podium one other time, third in 2006.