Carlos Sastre has acknowledged that his planning for the 2009 season went awry, saying he started the defence of his Tour de France title feeling “exhausted”. Sastre started the Tour after previously winning two stages and finishing fourth at the Giro d’Italia.
“When I reached the Tour I was exhausted and I don’t want to make that same error in planning again,” Sastre said during a PR appearance for Ford over the weekend at Madrid’s Jarama motor-racing circuit with Finnish rally driver Mikko Hirvoven.
“I want to rediscover the spark that I was lacking this year. Although I still haven’t worked out what races I’m going to be riding in 2010, it’s already clear in my mind that this coming season is going to be very different to the one that’s just finished.”
Sastre admitted that he is still likely to ride two major tours during 2010, but hasn’t yet decided on whether he will be adding the Giro or the Vuelta to his definite appearance at the Tour. “The Tour de France has been my race and I want to perform well in it again. The only thing that I am certain of is that I will do the Tour,” said the 34-year-old Spaniard.
Sastre said he will wait until the presentation of the Vuelta on December 16 and to hear about his Cervélo team’s objectives for next season before making a commitment between the Giro and the Vuelta. However, he refused to put the blame for his poor showing at the Tour on his strong ride at the Giro just weeks beforehand. “The route of the Giro was hard, but during my career I’ve always done two major tours [each year] and been at a good level. But a lot of circumstances combined and I wasn’t able to recover and I’ve learned from that,” he commented.
Sastre also responded to comments made by Andy Schleck in the Spanish press a couple of weeks ago. Speaking to El País, Schleck had said when asked if he got on well with his former team-mate at CSC: “No, absolutely not. I don’t know what his problem was. He won the Tour and everyone watching it who knows a bit about cycling knows that [myself and brother Frank] sacrificed ourselves for him. But he went to the press and said things that made no sense, like we didn’t want to work for him… We were 100 per cent behind, we worked for him. He’s got something wrong in his head!”
Asked about this, Sastre replied: “You have to educate kids and for a young guy to come out and try to educate me is something that I don’t understand.”
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