Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.
By Andrew Hood
Carlos Sastre likes what he sees for next year’s Giro d’Italia.
With a climber’s course laden with monster ascents, including the Mortirolo, the Gavia, Zoncolan and Plan de Corones, the punishing Giro course could well tempt Sastre back to the Italian tour in 2010.
“It’s a very attractive final week, defined by three summit finishes practically back-to-back, and a time trial that will be the cherry on the cake,” Sastre said after reviewing the Giro course presented Saturday in Milan. “It is a Giro that will benefit climbers. This Giro is harder than last year’s, which includes eight stages longer than 200km, and one 256km marathon, something in recent years we only see in the Giro.”
In last year’s Giro, Sastre was one of the main protagonists, winning two stages — stage 16 to Monte Petrano and stage 19 on Vesuvius — while finishing fourth overall. He fell just short of his goal to finish on the podium, which would have given him podium places in all three grand tours.
That unfinished business and the climber-friendly Giro route might tempt him back to Italy in May.
The 2008 Tour de France champ is being coy about his racing goals for 2010. He even hinted he might skip the Tour if the routes for the Giro and Vuelta a España are more tailored for his capabilities. The Vuelta course will be unveiled in mid-December.
“Now that we’ve seen the Giro and Tour routes for next year, now I only need to see the Vuelta route to decide what I will do next season,” Sastre said.
Sastre’s comments came as he returned to the bike after not competing since following the Tour in July.
Sastre participated in a criterium in northern Spain in the hometown of Olympic gold medalist Samuel Sánchez. Sastre didn’t lie when he was asked about how he felt.
“They (the legs) are not the best, but I felt enthusiastic and had that little spark again,” Sastre said. “The most important thing of all is that I already feel recovered from a long rest period that I took after the Tour.”