Carlos Sastre will focus on the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espa¤a this year, and hopes to improve o
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Sastre targets Tour and Vuelta Carlos Sastre says he will go for the overall victories in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espa¤a this year. Last year, the CSC man rode all three grand tours, finishing fourth in both the Tour and the Vuelta and playing a key role in Ivan Basso’s Giro d’Italia victory. This year, he will try to improve on his 2006 results, “But aiming at two races in particular, the Tour and the Vuelta. They are both key races for me and I would like to really shine in them.” In the absence of Basso, who now rides for Discovery, Sastre will be the CSC team captain for the big tours. He isn’t afraid of the pressure, “because I know why I am going to the Tour de France, in what condition I’ll be, and what my goal is.” Sastre in his in his 10th year as a professional, which he called a “sweet time and one that I will try to take advantage of [because] I have earned the respect and confidence of all my teammates.” Boonen will improve, says Peeters Tom Boonen seems to have hit the ground running at full speed in the early part of the season, dominating the Tour of Qatar so far. The Belgian had a key role in Quick.Step winning the team time trial, and has since gone on to win all three of the road stages that followed. But according to his team director Wilfried Peeters, he is “not yet super”. “His three stage wins? Nice, but nothing more than that,” Peeters told Gazet van Antwerpen. “The point is that Tom keeps progressing the whole time. I would be lying if I said that he doesn’t look good. Boonen has had a very good winter. He could build up more calmly compared to the hectic months that followed after his world title. And he had his sickness already in December.” Peeters was asked whether Boonen was too good, too soon. “Boonen is on track, be sure of that. I looked at the numbers on his cyclo-computer. An average heart rate of 158 … you don’t even get that in a stage of the Tour de France.” Hinault disappointed in Ullrich Five time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault has hit out at Jan Ullrich, who is currently under investigation for doping fraud. “At this point, he is a cheater,” Hinault told Bild. “It’s up to him to prove that he didn’t cheat. He has disappointed me. I never would have thought that he would do this type of thing. But people want to win a lot of money through any means.” Hinault’s comments aside, Ullrich is expected to supply a DNA sample soon to the fraud investigators in Germany. Ullrich said that he will give a saliva sample in Konstanz, Switzerland, which is on the German border. According to his spokesman Michael Lang, it’s to save the German taxpayers money by not making Ullrich travel to Bonn. Last year, Swiss police searched his house in Switzerland and took a saliva sample from him. But Ullrich didn’t want this, and other private documents seized in the search, to be used in the German investigation. The Germans will compare Ullrich’s DNA to that found in the blood bags seized from Eufemiano Fuentes in Spain. Those bags have yet to be sent to the prosecutor in Bonn, Germany. 2009 Vuelta to start in Holland The 2009 edition of the Vuelta a Espa¤a will start in the Dutch town of Assen (Drenthe), the organisers have confirmed. Last August, the Dutch expressed an interest in hosting the start of Spain’s biggest cycling race. The opening stage will be held on the motorcycling track in Assen, known as the “Cathedral of Motorcycle Racing”. Sean Yates on the Procycling forum Next Wednesday, February 7th, the Procycling forum will be featuring a ‘live’ chat/Q&A with Discovery Channel directeur sportif Sean Yates. We are still finalising the details, but it will likely be an afternoon ( 4pm GMT) session. Forum members will be able to pose questions to Sean, so if you’re a guest lurker and want to participate, then please register. You can get in your questions early on this thread, or wait until the day itself. We anticipate that this will be the first of regular ‘pro’ forum chats. Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.