Carlos Sastre Climbs to Win in Stage 16 of Giro d'Italia 2009
Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam) won today's Stage 16 of the 2009 Giro d'Italia with a brilliant solo attack on the last climb of the day attacking with 7 km to go and overtaking Team Astana's Yaroslav Popovych in the final 2 km. He was able to finish 25 seconds ahead of maglia rosa holder Denis Menchov (Team Rabobank) and Danilo Di Luca (Team LPR Brakes) who was one second behind Menchov. Sastre now sits 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," Carlos Sastre commented 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 handy 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 after the stage, "It was the day we shouldn't talk (with our mouths) 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."