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Sastre conquers Monte Petrano!

Sastre conquers Monte Petrano
Carlos Sastre came out of the anonymity of the peleton Monday with a dramatic stage victory in a grueling, seven-hour march across the Apennines to re-energize his hopes of overall victory at the Giro d’Italia.

Sastre finished 25 seconds ahead of the maglia rosa holder Denis Menchov (Rabobank) and Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes – Farnese Vini). Sastre is now in third place in the GC 2’19” behind Menchov.

“The sixteenth stage of this year’s Giro has been a very important day for me and the rest of the team,” said Sastre after his win. “Thanks to the whole team’s hard work I was able to secure a very nice and very important stage victory.

“I felt protected by my team mates throughout the day, who were close by at all times, giving me water when I needed it. Then, in the last part of the race, Serge Pauwels made a very important play that allowed me to see that some riders were struggling. That made me ride on stronger upon seeing a chance to get past the odd rider and earn important time against riders who were ahead of me in the general classification.

“Tomorrow is the second rest day of this Giro, which will come in really well for many of us. This race won’t finish until we reach Rome, there are two mountain finish stages left and anything could happen. I came to this Giro with the intention of really going for it and I’m here to continue doing so.”

“It was the third day in a row that was super hard and we knew this was the day it should happen,” said Sports Director Jean-Paul Van Poppel, “It was the day we shouldn’t talk anymore; we should talk with the legs. And it happened!

“Like a dream come true, the final climb shows up. Serge did a good lead out and after that the big boys tried to attack a few times. Carlos waited a little bit until Basso was finished with his attack and then he goes two times in a row, killing the other ones, getting the stage victory. Now he is third in the GC, so nothing to complain about.” said a satisfied sports director after the stage.