Cervélo TestTeam’s Dan Lloyd is confident in team-mate Carlos Sastre ahead of the Giro d’Italia’s final week.

“I know that Carlos is always best in the last week, this is the time for him to shine,” Lloyd told Cycling Weekly. “I don’t know how, but I expect something special in the last week.”

The 2008 Tour de France winner, Sastre trails leader David Arroyo (Caisse d’Epargne) by 5’27″ after 14 stages raced. Experience and a strong team will work in Sastre’s favour as the race enters its last week through the Dolomites and Alps.

“There are not too many teams with nine guys left. We are just coming to the point now which the team has been thinking of since the start,” continued Lloyd.

When you are at the start of the Giro d’Italia it seems like a long way to get to here, it can be hard to try to save energy in those first two weeks. It is the same as last year, we just tried to stay as quiet as possible in the first part and then take more responsibility on the big climbs.”

Cervélo went to the front of the group yesterday to project Sastre and Xavier Tondo (third overall). Today, over Monte Grappa, Tondo and Sastre remained with Arroyo’s group after a group with stage winner Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) rode away.

They would not have been in a place to vie for the overall win had they not made the mega-escape of 56 men in Wednesday’s stage to L’Aquila. The duo gained 12 minutes over their direct rivals: Cadel Evans, Alexandre Vinokourov, Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali.

“There was no way we [team Cervélo] would have let a group like that go. It only takes a small bit of hesitation and then it’s a hard gap to close to a group like that. You only need to think about it for five minutes and the escape is gone.

“I can imagine there have been some pretty good stages to watch on television. I have been watching Grand Tours for many years and I have never seen a stage like that.

“The way the race has been ridden, it has made for a lot of riders tired. Hopefully, it will play in our favour now that we have been staying quite. It has been hard to setback and not be in the limelight. We will see what happens in this third week, which is what people will remember after the race.”

Lloyd is nearly two hours back in the classification. He reported that he is in good health and that he has been lucky to have only crashed twice, both times in stage two.

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Giro d’Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

2010 Giro d’Italia coverage in association with Zipvit


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