Crashes marred the first stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y León, and while one of these took out Lance Armstrong, another Tour de France winner, Carlos Sastre, managed to get through the day without that misfortune.
"The falls were a shame, and have been motivated primarily by the tension [in the bunch] as everyone wants to be at the front on narrow roads that are often filled with gravel," Sastre told Spanish sports daily Marca. "I think that is what has made it more dangerous today," he added.
"The stage today was a little like we expected. A nervous day in an area where there is a lot of wind made the bunch ride fast throughout the stage," the Spanish veteran explained.
"It was a continuously twisty journey – left, right and through small towns. We have been fortunate that the wind was a headwind or tailwind, which enabled the peloton to more or less stay together," he added.
Sastre said that he has no problems with his own form, and that, "I was always kept more or less safe, and always protected by my colleagues. This helped me get through the stage without any mishap and continue with my preparations."