CSC’s Carlos Sastre commits himself to a third major tour of the season by deciding he is up to maki
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After helping Ivan Basso win the Giro d’Italia in May, then finished fourth at the Tour de France in July, CSC’s Carlos Sastre has decided that he will try to improve on last year’s second place in his home tour by lining up for the start of the Vuelta on August 26 in Malaga.
Sastre announced his decision on Tuesday after being in contention to win the ProTour race at San Sebastian on Saturday. After breaking clear with defending Vuelta champion Denis Menchov and Iban Mayo, the trio were caught just 5km from the finish.
The Spaniard’s decision also sets up an interesting tussle between home riders at the Vuelta. Despite the absence of last year’s ultimately disgraced champion Roberto Heras and the Operacion Puerto-implicated Paco Mancebo, Sastre will face up to Tour rival Oscar Pereiro and his Caisse d’Epargne team-mate Alejandro Valverde, as well as an apparently revitalised Mayo. The foreign challenge is once again led by Menchov.
The Vuelta organisers, meanwhile, have announced a prize fund of one million euros for their race, with 220,000 going to the winner in Madrid on September 16.