The former Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre had problems during this year's Giro d'Italia because of back problems. The Cervelo TestTeam-rider finished eight overall, 9:39 behind Ivan Basso.
The Spanish rider didn't have a lot of race days in advance of the Giro and I guess he should have had many more. Eight race days are a really small amount and well, most riders wouldn't even think of starting a Grand Tour with so few race days.
Sastre complains that he crashed at some occasions during the first stages and he sustained a back injury. The injury became worse when he crashed again on the stage to Montalcino on the dirt roads.
"I don’t like to make excuses. I crashed and I crashed pretty bad but that's part of the game, it's one of the risks of cycling," Sastre said.
"It wasn’t something I talked about because I didn’t want it to become an excuse. Everyone in the team knew about it but we didn’t talk about it to the press or the public because they can't help me when I'm on the bike. I just needed the help of my teammates, my soigneur and my osteopath."
"It was a tough experience but I did my best and I'm happy with what I achieved. I'm just happy that I was able to finish the Giro d'Italia. If I'd crashed harder, I might not have even made it to the end."
Yes, he claims that there is no subterfuge and I believe him. He is not the kind of man who make up things. Still I feel that something is more wrong than he tells. Why would he otherwise have so few race days? Is he getting old?