Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) will start the Tour de France in four days time fully recovered from the back problems sustained from a pair of crashes in May's Giro d'Italia.
Sastre finished the Giro in eighth place overall, but was diagnosed earlier this month with a posterior spinal disc herniation and a central extruded disc, raising questions about his performance at this year's Tour.
The 2008 Tour de France champion, however, feels "calm and confident" and is looking forward to his 10th straight Tour .
"The discomfort and pains I was feeling for three weeks after the Giro have gone completely," said Sastre. "Despite feeling somewhat uncertain now given that I haven't had very intense training sessions, I do feel calm as I'm no longer feeling discomfort, and that motivates me to keep improving every day and above all to take on this race feeling enthusiastic, which is the most important thing."
In addition to Sastre's 2008 Tour de France victory, the 35-year-old Spaniard has finished in the top ten on five additional occasions and has finished 21 of 22 Grand Tours in his career.
Sastre flew from Madrid to Brussels this morning to join his Cervélo TestTeam teammates in some final preparation for Saturday's Tour start.
"We are going to do a recon of the most important initial stages of the Tour, and more specifically, the cobblestoned areas of the Paris-Roubaix stage," said Sastre.