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Carlos Sastre

Mar 12, 2009
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Just thought it was amazing how with all the discussion about this years tour it all seems to be around Contador, Lance, Levi and co but let's not forget the actual defending champion. Does anyone give Carlos a real chance of repeating?, he will be the true leader at Cervelo and he will as always be in good form come July. Or was he just lucky to snag a win last year on the back of one super stage, great team mates, and some missing superstars?

And just to put my opinion in I wouldn't have him in my top 5.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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I really enjoyed his win last year. It was a combination of pure talent on Satre's part and outstanding teamwork from CSC. However, he's another year older now and has a weaker team so I can't see him defending the title.

Are Cervelo guaranteed a ride?
 
Mar 17, 2009
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I love Sastre and his victory last year was no fluke - and he won when he needed to - but I don't think he'll be able to win the GC this year. Not so much because he won't be able to climb, but because CSC was simply so stacked and controlled the race flawlessly last year.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Look beyond his Tour win and he's not won much else. Even on the morning of the TT stage he was expected to abandon the yellow jersey to Evans.

His ride last July was exceptional, whether on Alpe d'Huez or in the final TT and he deserved the win, going on the attack to win. But if Andy Schleck had not forgotten to eat on the descent of the Tourmalet, things probably would have turned out different.
 
Carlos demonstrated last year that consistency and deep determination & love for the sport can make a "clean" rider a Grand Tour winner. He may not have the strength of his former team, but in his advantage is the fact that he is the undisputed "Team Leader" of Cervelo-- I Hope to see him in the top 5
 
Yeah, I agree with the general sentiment here that his chances aren't good--especially when you consider that Astana alone will be sending 4 or 5 guys who are on par or better than him.

But I loved his win last year. It was good for the soul.
 
Cervelo test team are hot right now - can't see them not wanting to make a good showing in the Tour - can't see why he wouldn't be there in the mix - looking forward to see him mixing it up with the best of them
 
lookkg386 said:
Just thought it was amazing how with all the discussion about this years tour it all seems to be around Contador, Lance, Levi and co but let's not forget the actual defending champion. Does anyone give Carlos a real chance of repeating?, he will be the true leader at Cervelo and he will as always be in good form come July. Or was he just lucky to snag a win last year on the back of one super stage, great team mates, and some missing superstars?

He was lucky...or as lucky as you can be said to be while winning a race as long as the TdF. He did nothing during the whole Tour except that one stage on the Alpe, and Evans was not smart enough or not strong enough to limit his losses. Perhaps Evans was overly confident in his time trialing ability. I did not find Sastre's win all that impressive.

Sastre was not even the strongest man on CSC last year. Andy Schleck was.
 
I have to agree with the majority on this one - loved seeing Sastre take it all last year. Great showing on l'Alpe and a solid time trial.
But, last year Sastre had a GC team - meaning the team was focused on the overall GC, nothing else (aside from the white jersey with baby Schleck).

Cervelo - a team looking strong thus far, has a Green Jersey goal as well. A goal that is almost certain should Thor plan his peak correctly and stay healthy. He has stated it as his goal this year.

While the overall GC will be important for them, and they will give it effort - they will also try to juggle winning the maillot vert.

This means, Sastre will have less resources at his disposal.

Top ten finish for Sastre. Probably 6th, maybe 7th.
 
I think it was Gary Player who said "It's funny the more I practice the luckier I seem to get" - Sastre saw and took his opportunity when others would have not had the presence of mind or courage - I thought it was a special moment. But I am after all and old romantic!
 
I can definitely see him on the podium, but he'll need some luck to repeat I think, for the same reasons others say. But he's a smart rider, and having the word "champion" attached to your name can be a motivator. Plus, this year's Tour has a lot of moderate mountainous stages, with few TT km's.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Shogun said:
I love Sastre and his victory last year was no fluke - and he won when he needed to - but I don't think he'll be able to win the GC this year. Not so much because he won't be able to climb, but because CSC was simply so stacked and controlled the race flawlessly last year.


I have got to agree, last years efforts by CSC were reminiscent of the US Postal days where the strongest team took control in the first week and the rest just fell into line.

I don't think this year will look anything like that. We have at least 2-3 really dominant teams (Astana, CSC & Colombia) with a bunch of teams with a GC contender but are not strong enough to fight for domination, but will happily sit back and hope to exploit the carnage.

The unfortunate thing is that I just don't see Cadel being able to benift from this situation unless he is willing to put it on the line and take some big risk. This type of situation will suit the likes of Sastra, Pereiro & Vele Velde

I am putting my money on the Doger, I think he is back and feeling frisky:D
 
BroDeal said:
He was lucky...or as lucky as you can be said to be while winning a race as long as the TdF. He did nothing during the whole Tour except that one stage on the Alpe, and Evans was not smart enough or not strong enough to limit his losses. Perhaps Evans was overly confident in his time trialing ability. I did not find Sastre's win all that impressive.

Sastre was not even the strongest man on CSC last year. Andy Schleck was.

2008 was the one Tour that was fairly wide open. To say that Sastre's win was luck is a serious insult to someone that is as steady and consistent in the grand tours as Sastre is. As I posted elsewhere, Sastre above anyone else seized the moment on 2 occasions: Alpe d'Huez and the last ITT. For me it was extremely gratifying to see that someone as gracious and professional as Sastre has been over the course of his career, was able to win the biggest and most important event in cycling while his own ds had minimal confidence in ability to win. At the base of Alpe d'Huez, CSC's only hope of a Tour win was Sastre and he simply rose to the occasion like a true champion.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I don't know if he was lucky or not, but what did work to his advantage was that the CSC team did not repeat the US Postal tactics. Compared to US Postal, who worked to support one man only, CSC started with three potential candidates.

On the Alpe, F. Schleck was in yellow, and Sastre was in reach of yellow. So "all" CSC had to do, was probe the opposition and launch an attack one after another. I do think that if someone in the peloton had been strong enough to get Sastre back (i.e. Menchov tried and blew himself up, Evans trying to increase the pace) and had succeeded, F. Schleck could have taken overall in Paris. He would have counterattacked and perhaps gained 2 mins as well...

On top of that, look at Sastre's results in the ensuing Vuelta. He came in 3rd, 4 mins after AC and Levi, but with a team that wasn't really TdF proof (Haedo, Kroon, Bresschel, Blaudzund, Gustov, Kolobnev, van Goolen, Cuesta Lopez). All terrific riders and fresh, but not of the type CSC lined up during the TdF. Hence, he showed that without a strong team, he can still do pretty well...
 
Mar 10, 2009
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180mmCrank said:
I think it was Gary Player who said "It's funny the more I practice the luckier I seem to get" - Sastre saw and took his opporunity when others would have not had the presence of mind or courage...

Exactly. One man's lucky break (accidental occurance) is another man's case of preparation meeting with opportunity.