First there was the Spanish football team winning Euro 08.
Then there was Rafa Nadal winning Wimbledon.
And now, Carlos Sastre has made it a hat trick of Spanish wins, riding into Paris as winner of this year’s Tour de France.After my post on Saturday re my dilemna, I did feel rather sorry for Cadel Evans who lost out to a Spaniard in the time trial last year too (Alberto Contador who was unable to defend his title as his team Astana were not invited in the wake of Vinokourov-gate last year) but he was simply too tired I think to pull it out of the bag.
However, I must admit that I was secretly really pleased to see Sastre triumph as he rode out of his skin in the time trial. Not simply because he’s Spanish and from one of my favourite towns (Avila), but because he was SO humble about it all. At every opportunity he praised his team who supported him so well throughout – and they deserved it too.
Without the Schleck brothers, Stuart O’Grady, Fabian Cancellara, Jens Voigt (who lost his saddle somewhere on the Champs d’Elysees!) Kurt Asle-Aversen, Nicky Sorensen and Volodymir Gustov, Sastre would have been as isolated and tired as Cadel Evans.
He dedicated his win to his brother-in-law, José María Jiménez, who was also a professional cyclist who died in 2004. As Sastre said ‘su derrota era querer ganar esta carrera’ so it made his win all the sweeter for him and his wife, Piedi, Jiménez’s sister.
So here’s to Carlos Sastre – ¡muy bien hecho!