Carlos Sastre’s triumph in the Tour de France over the weekend has capped a “magical” year for Spanish sports, Spanish media said Monday just two weeks before the Olympic Games get underway.
“Sastre’s triumph in the Tour marks the end of the two most fruitful months in Spanish football,” the daily newspaper El Mundo wrote with photographs of the cyclist on the Champs Elysees after his win on Sunday.
“Sastre conquers Paris in a magical year for Spanish sports,” wrote rival daily El Pais.
Sastre, 33, is the third Spanish rider to win the event in a row after Alberto Contador last year and Oscar Pereiro in 2006.
The Tour win comes on the heels of Rafael Nadal’s victory at Wimbledon earlier this month and Spain’s triumph at the Euro 2008 football finals last month which sent millions into the streets in celebration.
“Great year for Spanish sport,” wrote sports daily AS while its rival Marca declared that “Spain is now the leading power in cycling.”
Sastre, who rides for the CSC team, is the seventh Spaniard to win cycling’s most prestigious race.
He will be honored in his home village of El Barranco near Avila on Wednesday before heading off with the rest of the Spanish Olympic delegation on Saturday for China and the Olympics.
Daily newspaper La Razon meanwhile Monday said “all that is missing now is an excellent Spanish performance at the Olympic Games.”