Six weeks before the start of the 2011 Giro d'Italia, Carlos Sastre may have finished in the last gruppetto at the Volta a Catalunya's queen stage on Wednesday, but the Spaniard said his form is on track for his big objective this year.
The Team Geox leader and winner of the 2008 Tour de France is highly motivated to take the overall victory at the Italian Grand Tour. "We will go to the Giro d'Italia to fight for the big win," he told Spanish news agency Efe before starting Wednesday's Catalunya stage eventually won by Alberto Contador.
The reason for his current lack of results, according to Sastre, is a recent illness. "The preparation for the Giro is going reasonably well, but just before coming here I was ill with a flu for two weeks," he added, saying that his strength was "a little short".
Sastre did not give the setback further importance, as he wants to use the remaining four racing days in Catalunya to increase his power before fine-tuning his form at the Vuelta al País Vasco and the Vuelta a Castilla y León.
"I think that we will be highly competitive and together with Denis [Menchov], we will have a great team there," he said.
Deprived of the Tour de France this year, for which it did not receive an ivitation, the Geox team will be spearheaded by Sastre and Menchov at the Giro - two leaders who will aim at taking the top honours. The Russian has already won the Giro and was third-placed at the Tour de France last year.