Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre believes that the 100th anniversary of the Giro d'Italia this May will be one for the record books due to its route design and participants.
"I like it, and a lot. It is modern, tense, hard," Spain's Sastre of Cervélo Test Team said to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "The Giro is my first objective, the principle objective is the Tour, the Worlds is the final objective."
Sastre, 33, won the Tour of France last July for the first time in his career. He left Team CSC-Saxo Bank at the end of the year to join new formation Cervélo Test Team. Giro d'Italia organiser RCS Sport invited the Switzerland-based team to compete on Wednesday as part of a 20-team list.
The race, first run in 1909, has one of its richest lists of competitors in recent years. Top riders scheduled to race include Lance Armstrong, Damiano Cunego, Ivan Basso, Danilo Di Luca, Gilberto Simoni and Denis Menchov.
"I am not worried about him," said Sastre of Armstrong at the Giro d'Italia. "They will all be on him: the riders, fans, journalist. He will take a lot of pressure off me."
The race starts in Venice with a team time trial on May 9. It consists of 21 stages, with the final day being an individual time trial in Rome.
Sastre rode the Giro d'Italia in 2006 in support of eventual winner Basso. That year he rode all three Grand Tours.