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Sastre returns from CSC's Norway camp

Carlos Sastre comments on Norway adventures

Carlos Sastre comments on Norway adventures (Image credit: Ben Atkins)

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Spaniard Carlos Sastre has returned from his team's camp in Norway, where the riders and staff faced brutal conditions but came away with greater understanding of their co-workers' strengths. The 32 year-old CSC rider reflected on the experience and his upcoming season.

"It has been different, because we have been in Hovden, and the weather was very cold, about 15.5°C below zero, and to survive was a very demanding test for me," said Sastre to press agency EFE. "On arrival [the team] gave us clothes, and the next day, we walked on the mountain with skis and sledges, a tent, food and firewood.

"Not all the people did the same thing, and sometimes you had to pull for those who could not. ... The first day, we [cross-country] skied 11 kilometres uphill; the Swedes and Norwegians are best in that environment, because they have more experience, but the rest of us had to face it with caution."

The little climber realized that there were many positive aspects from the snowy camp. "It is something like how to apply the philosophy of 'one for all and all for one.' The important thing is that the new staff adapts as soon as possible. ... All of these experiences are valuable to better know one another." The cross-country skiing was also a good physical preparation for the year, "It is an activity that gives us strength in the legs and arms."

Sastre commented on his 2008 objectives. "The Tour is my main goal, but this year, I want to go slowly, step by step. ... I trust my team and the team trusts in me. It will go to the Tour to help me, and that is what I need. Other years, I have been at the call of other riders, such as Basso and Hamilton. After the last two years, I have gained maturity."

The 2008 Tour will feature the climbs of Hautacam, Alpe d'Huez and Tourmalet, but there will be less kilometres against the clock. "It is quite good," he continued. "All that is needed is a team time trial stage, in which the CSC is the best."

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