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Sastre says Armstrong needs to learn about respect

 A Ferrari sports car passes Cervelo team riders with Carlos Sastre of Spain during a training ride in Monaco Thursday July 2, 2009, ahead of the star...
 Carlos Sastre of Spain, foreground, gestures as he rides with a teammate during a training ride near Monaco Thursday July 2, 2009, ahead of the start...
 Carlos Sastre of Spain, center, rides with teammates during a training ride in Monaco Thursday July 2, 2009, ahead of the start of the 96th edition o...
 Carlos Sastre of Spain waits to leave for a training ride in Monaco Thursday July 2, 2009, ahead of the start of the 96th edition of the Tour de Fran...

MONACO FRANCE TOUR DE FRANCE CYCLING

A Ferrari sports car passes Cervelo team riders with Carlos Sastre of Spain during a training ride in Monaco Thursday July 2, 2009, ahead of the star...

MONACO FRANCE TOUR DE FRANCE CYCLING

Carlos Sastre of Spain, foreground, gestures as he rides with a teammate during a training ride near Monaco Thursday July 2, 2009, ahead of the start...

MONACO FRANCE TOUR DE FRANCE CYCLING

Carlos Sastre of Spain, center, rides with teammates during a training ride in Monaco Thursday July 2, 2009, ahead of the start of the 96th edition o...

MONACO FRANCE TOUR DE FRANCE CYCLING

Carlos Sastre of Spain waits to leave for a training ride in Monaco Thursday July 2, 2009, ahead of the start of the 96th edition of the Tour de Fran...

Defending Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre says Lance Armstrong could use a lesson in respect after the Texan reportedly called the race last year "a bit of a joke."
Sastre, a 34-year-old Spanish veteran, says seven-time Tour champion Armstrong is entitled to his opinion _ but insists it's the wrong one.
"It his point of view, it's his words _ his life," Sastre said of Armstrong at a news conference Friday. "He is a great champion, he won seven Tours de France, a world championship, he's a great rider."
"But behind every rider must be a person, and on that point, maybe he needs to learn something more," he said, adding: "There is something wrong with him about respect."
In the new book, "Lance _ The Making of the World's Greatest Champion" by John Wilcockson, Armstrong is said to have recounted his early musings about a possible comeback after the 2008 Tour.
"The Tour was a bit of a joke this year. I've got nothing against Sastre ... or Christian Vande Velde," he was quoted as saying shortly after the race last year. "Christian's a nice guy, but finishing fifth in the Tour de France? Come on!"
Vande Velde, of the Garmin-Slipstream team; Sastre, of Cervelo, and Armstrong and 2007 Tour winner and pre-race favorite Alberto Contador of Astana will square off among the 180 riders set to start the race Saturday in Monaco.
Sastre shrugged off all the attention heaped on Armstrong and Contador, saying he prefers to express himself "in the saddle," not in the media spotlight.
But make no mistake: he will be the only rider wearing jersey No. 1 on Saturday. Quietly, he has demonstrated solid recent form, with two mountain-stage wins and a fourth-place finish overall at the Giro d'Italia in May.
The Tour better suits Sastre this year than most: the 96th edition favors climbers. Time-trials _ which are not his strength _ have been given relatively less importance than the mountains, where he excels.
Sastre is not the only rider overshadowed by the suspected Contador-Armstrong rivalry which has drawn most of the media attention.
Also not to be ruled out in the title quest that ends July 26 on Paris' Champs-Elysees are Russia's Denis Menchov, who won the Giro d'Italia in May; Cadel Evans of Australia, runner-up at the Tour for the last two years; and the Schleck brothers, Andy and Frank.
On Friday, an unofficial poll of 30 current riders, race veterans and team sports directors in the French sports daily L'Equipe showed that most don't expect Sastre to make the podium this year. They picked Contador first, Evans was second, and Menchov third. Armstrong and Sastre were tied for fifth.
But Sastre believes otherwise.
"I think that I am ready for this race," he said. "Winning the Tour de France last year has changed a lot of things, but myself: I'm the same person."
But can he win again?
"Yes, why not?" he said with a grin.


Updated : 2021-10-26 01:56 GMT+08:00