Little Carlos Sastre was surprised and mystified, saying “Really, I did not expect it and the truth is that the decision has surprised me. It’s a disappointment because I believe that now, more than ever, cycling needs new projects such as Geox-TMC.”
We’ll agree with Sastre that a team ranked 17th with two recent grand tour winners in the Spaniard and Denis Menchov might reasonably expect to make the final cut.
But Carlos, this is the UCI, not an adult organization with a clear cut set of criteria. Expect the unexpected, buddy. Just because you and Denis have a snazzy yellow and a delicious pink jersey, that doesn’t mean squat to UCI president Pat “hot air” McQuaid.
Then again, McQuaid is in China right now on one of his cocktail junkets so maybe he did consult the oracle bones. It’s the UCI and in their ever-changing set of rules, it’s anybody’s guesswork.
However we at Twisted Spoke applaud the decision to exclude the Geox-TMC team. It’s a wise move and was not based on points, cash reserves or ethical stance. No, Geox was refused on humanitarian grounds. They were trying to save Carlos Sastre from killing himself.
Let’s look at the real decision-making process here. Last year at age 35 Sastre rode all three grand tours. During that long season he repeatedly complained about chronic fatigue. He wasn’t fresh, his performances suffered and he was injury prone. He was worn down to a stub, a shell of his former self.
Despite admitting to constant exhaustion, Sastre announced that for the coming season he has plans to ride all three grand tours. It was clear the little Spaniard was slowly killing himself and that’s when the UCI stepped in to stop him.
This was an act of mercy and we should all be thankful. Without a ProTeam license, Carlos will most likely be prevented from carrying out his Giro – Tour -Vuelta suicide mission. It was a creative, bold ruling by the UCI and we say chapeaux all around. Hopefully, this will keep Sastre fresh enough to make a final, serious run at one grand tour.
Sure, Geox is bummed, Menchov is annoyed and team manager Mauro Gianetti is furious. They need to look at the bigger picture. The UCI just saved Sastre’s life.