Sastre V Evans – the difference was more than 58 seconds !

Yesterday Carlos Sastre , the 33 year old Spaniard who stands at 1.70 m and weighs just 61 kg won his first Tour de France . He beat the ever present podium bridesmaid , Australian Cadel Evans by a slender margin of just 58 seconds after three weeks of racing . So what made the difference between these two men which gave one victory over the other ?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uQQXv63wlk]

– The teams – Sastre rides for CSC who were undoubtedly the strongest team in the race . They had at least two other options for overall victory in the Schleck brothers , one of whom will surely be a winner in the future . With domistiques like Cancellara , Voight and O’Grady , Sastre could always be sure to be delivered half way up each climb in the perfect position .
Evans on the other hand rides for the Silence Lotto team . For the past number of years their goal has been to get the other Australian on the team , Robbie McKewan to Paris in the green jersey , which they did . However , a team which works well at chasing down breakaways in the final 20 km does not necessarily perform likewise in the mountains . Van Someren was the only Silence lotto jersey to be seen in the vicinity of Evans when the action began and that wasn’t for very long . The fact that another of their riders Wim Vansevenant took his third lantern rouge ( Last place rider ) also speaks volumes about the teams’ attitude as a whole .

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCasmDE94S0]

-Training – Sastre is old school . He places little value on power metres and heart monitors and prefers to go by feel . This must surely cause headaches for the CSC team staff who are innovators when it comes to training techniques but it obviously works for Sastre .
Evans on the other hand goes down the scientific route using a powertap to great effect . He is famous for his idiosyncratic , fastidious approach to training , racing and diet .

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVJCJZ5K9iE]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKSkVUdBeF8]

– Personality – Sastre is generally recognised as a very humble if slightly quirky guy . He see’s himself as just another rider on the team and did not ask for any special treatment . He attacked to win the tour whilst Evans tried to calculate his way to the final time trial where he presumed , incorrectly , that he would take over the race lead .
Evans , on the other hand does not come across quite so well . He hired Lance Armstrongs former bodyguard Serge to keep him away from the public and also brought his own chef as he said that the French food was pretty crap . Telling his friends back home to drink champagne when he took yellow in the middle of the race wasn’t smart . During the tour he headbutted a camera and slapped a number of officials . Call it nerves or whatever you like but riders like Kelly would never have behaved like that !

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0igYgzm7ug]

Evans is good enough to win the tour but the question remains , will he ever do it ? He says that he has another three good tours in him , but he will have to change teams and learn to channel his aggression if he is ever going to wear yellow in Paris !

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9St8xiaKzA]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZVIqIrJ2Jc]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkzhHsyaKEs]

In the past 2 hours since I began putting this together some of the less impressive clips of Evans striking people have been taken down from youtube so apoligies if any of the above are no longer available .

Barry
www.worldwidecycles.com

3 thoughts on “Sastre V Evans – the difference was more than 58 seconds !

  • July 28, 2008 at 7:28 pm
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    Evans would have some manners put on him in the group during the winter no doubt ! Fitzy wouldn’t wear that bullshit for long (pardon my french) ! It is amazing how (some) cyclists are now behaving like rock stars – fair enough the scrutiny they must be under is huge, but still like, there’s no need for it to go to your head like it certainly has with Evans.

    Reply
  • August 1, 2008 at 11:43 am
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    Well I feel I just have to jump in here and defend my compatriot and I know that everyone back home will be justly proud of the ‘little battler’ for coming second AGAIN in possibly the most grueling sports event in the sports world.

    Now, I’m no cyclists but I’m surprised no one could hear me screaming in frustration as day after mountain stage day I would be watching Cadel in the final few k’s up against, Kohl, Menchov, Vandevelde etc etc and of course, at least 3 CSC riders all specifically attacking Evans. If it was Armstrong, we would have been waxing lyrical about his strengths and stamina to stay in there. Instead, it was more about CSC and other riders/teams not doing enough. At the end of the day, Sastre got away on only the one stage when Cadel was trying to mark the Schleck’s, Menchov, Kohl and Vandevelde; was it cold hearted calculation or was this poor guy just completely stuffed?! C’mon give this guy some credit.

    Without doubt we in Australia have our fair share of wankers. Leyton Hewitt immediately springs to mind as does Russell Crowe and that idiot Brendan Fevola (perhaps he is even King of the Wankers). However, it’s also easy to create opinion through what media choose to release. In Australia, Cadel is seen as quite humble, singularly determined due to a somewhat rough upbringing and is very reticent towards the media (If I remember correctly, he only ever gave one interview in Australia after last years race even though he was widely feted). This is not an excuse for rubbish behaviour but while Sastre gets to be humble and quirky and rides with a brilliant and astonishingly strong team, Cadel Evans gets painted through the media over here as a loner and a cynical, ill mannered man. I wonder how much unsavory footage there is of other riders out there that never sees the light of day; but then again, they probably wouldn’t raise much of an interest with the public and are therefore not news worthy.

    OK, I’ve vented my spleen, thanks for reading. Congratulations to Sastre, he seems a very nice guy, but really, I wouldn’t know. Regardless, he road a great race.

    Reply
  • July 25, 2011 at 9:35 am
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    Well Done Cadel. Grit and Determination. What a difference 3 years (and a decent team) makes.

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