Cerv?lo TestTeam rider, Carlos Sastre finished 7th in the 5th stage of the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia.
The peloton faced another mountain stage today with 25 difficult kilometres of climbing from Prato all’Isarco to the finish at the Alpe di Siusi. With an average gradient of 6.1 percent, and the final ramp from Siusi to the finish yielding an unforgiving 8.1 percent grade, it was a climbers race today. The stage was won by Denis Menchov (Rabobank), Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes – Farnese Vini) finished second and Thomas L?vkvist (Team Columbia – Highroad) placed third. Time bonuses have put Di Luca into the race lead.
"Currently I am about 2 kilos more than what I was last year when my climbing weight was just right. When I am skinny I can climb very well," said Ignatas Konovalovas. "Carlos is not a man who asks for a lot of help, just – bring him the water bottles, ride a little bit in front if there is side wind, so it’s pretty straightforward, we do what he needs. For the last kilometers today, what he really needed was for somebody to push harder, but I don’t know, he did have Vlody (Volodymir Gustov) with him. So we did what we should."
"For sure I am still feeling pain from yesterday’s crash and I think it will take a few days for it to get better," said Philip Deignan. "But it’s not so bad. Give me a few days."
"The stage today was a bit similar to the one from yesterday," said Serge Pauwels. "We again tried to keep Carlos well protected in the front, and today he came 7th, so I can definitely see that he’s improving every day which looks good for his GC."
"Today’s second mountain stage was a hard uphill climb, much harder than yesterday," said Jean Paul van Poppel. "We knew what we were up against so we used the same tactic as yesterday – don’t lose time! Carlos hung in today very well, with six riders to go – that was fantastic. He’s in good shape and he is in a position now to go for a really good Giro GC. We planned it so we could give him the chance he needed and the whole team gave him their support. Carlos proved again today he is worth our efforts because he could be the big surprise in this Giro. Maybe not at this moment but there still is another 2.5 weeks to go. His legs are strong enough to do small attacks with 400m to go. It’s all in the game, I mean there are different ways to get there and you never know what’s going to happen. He did lose a little bit of time on Menchov, but all the rest was ok, I think."
"All together it was a good job today. So, off to the next race, the next really huge stage for GC. Tomorrow is going to be more easy. A longer time. Maybe rain, we don’t know, but we still have something to work for. It’s good. All positive."
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