Spaniard Carlos Sastre will make his 2008 racing debut at the Clásica de Almería this upcoming Sunday, and will continue his programme with the Vuelta a Murcia afterwards. "I'm going to make the same start like last year. The only thing I hope is to have a little more luck and no mishap," the CSC rider commented.
Last year, Sastre crashed out of the Vuelta a Murcia. "That crash caused me some injuries which delayed my preparation by 20 days," he said. "Which is why I wasn't at the best of my form in the races afterwards, especially the Belgian Classics."
The Clásica de Almería, according to the CSC stage race leader, is "not too hard so it's a good way to make first contact with competition again." The Vuelta a Murcia, he added, "is a very good race because it has a little bit of everything. While they don't have mountain summit finishes, the stages provide some difficulty, and the time trial allows you to test yourself."
Sastre will continue his schedule with the Vuelta a Castilla y León, the Vuelta al País Vasco, the GP Primavera de Amorebieta, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. "Murcia and Castilla y León are less demanding that Paris-Nice or Tirreno-Adriatico, which is why I chose them in the last few years to softly begin my season, the ultimate target being the Tour de France," he said, still in doubt over his participation in the Giro d'Italia.
"We won't decide on this until after the Vuelta al País Vasco," Sastre explained. "It depends on how I feel at this point of the season."
Also see: An interview with Carlos Sastre, January 13, 2008.