Carlos Sastre (CSC) movingly pointed at the sky as he crossed the finish line of Saturday’s time trial, knowing he had sealed overall victory in the Tour de France.

In the press conference that he dedicated his victory to his late brother-in-law Jose Maria Jimenez. Nick-named ?El Chava?, Jimenez was a talented climber but died of a heart attack while in a mental health clinic in 2003. Sastre is married to Jimenez sister and often trained with Jimenez at the start of his career.

?I?m a believer and I believe that someone was near me and helped me. I want to dedicate this win to ?El Chava? Jimenez,? Sastre said.

?When I started cycling, he taught everything about sport and about life. His death was a very difficult moment. Today I want to share this win with him. I won for him. We had the same dreams and the same aspirations.?

?A SPECIAL DAY FOR CSC-SAXO BANK?

Sastre also shared his success with the CSC team.

“When I started today I wanted to do a good time trial but if I was able to defend my yellow jersey today it was because of three factors: my mind, my team, my form,” he said.

“Winning the Tour de France is a dream come true. Above all, it’s a special day for the whole CSC-Saxo Bank team. It was impossible to do this without them. It is extremely motivating to know that all the riders were ready to be at my service.”

“I’ve prepared better than ever for this race. I arrived at the Tour in the best shape of my career and what has happened is really a dream for every professional. I felt better and better as the race went on because I recover well. The team really sacrificed itself for me and the Schleck brothers sacrificed their own chances of victory.?

DEFYING PREDICTIONS

Sastre started the time trial with a vital 1-34 advantage over Cadel Evans. Many predicted it would not be enough but he only lost 29 seconds to the Australian and is set to win the Tour de France by 1-05.

?I had things on my side. I had the times of team mate Fabian Cancellara as a reference and the times of the other riders in front of me. I was focused on what I had to do when I started and was ready to suffer. I had a chance of a lifetime and it was enough to keep the yellow jersey.?

?I?m proud of what I?ve done but I?m also relaxed. I?ve suffered all my life to reach my goals. Perhaps I?m relaxed because I still don?t realise what I?ve done. Winning the Tour de France was a dream as a child and even as an adult. I like to dream and I always will as long as I live.?

?I KNOW WHO I AM AND WHAT I DO?

Sastre raced for the Once team at the start of his career and has been with CSC since 2002. When asked if people can believe he is an honest or ?propre?, he replied: ?Of course. I know who I am and what I do. I?ve worked very hard, I?ve made a lot of sacrifices day after day to achieve my goals honestly and with hard work. There are some people in cycling who want to win and who willing to cheat and there are also people who believe in the work they do. It will always be like that.?



TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: STAGE REPORTS

Stage 20: Sastre sets up overall Tour victory

Stage 19: Chavanel wins, time trial showdown looms

Stage 18: Burghardt shows that Columbia can win without Cav

Stage 17: Sastre wins on Alpe d’Huez, takes lead

Stage 16: Dessel wins

Stage 15: Schleck takes lead in the Alps

Stage 14: Oscar Freire wins in Digne-les-Bains

Stage 13: Cavendish takes fourth win

Stage 12: Cavendish makes it three

Stage 11: Arvesen wins

Stage 10: Evans takes yellow jersey by one second

Stage nine: Ricco wins in the Pyrenees

Stage eight: Cavendish wins again in Toulouse

Stage seven: Sanchez takes action-packed stage

Stage six: Ricco storms to win

Stage five: Cavendish takes first Tour win

Stage four: Schumacher wins TT and takes race lead

Stage three: Dumoulin wins stage from break

Stage two: Hushovd wins chaotic sprint

Stage one: Valverde wins

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: NEWS

Schlecks’ father’s car searched

Analysis: tactical battle on L’Alpe d’Huez [stage 17]

Schleck promises to attack main rivals

Schleck ready to defend Tour lead [stage 15]

Rest day news round-up [July 21]

Saunier Duval riders: “We are honest”

Cavendish talks to Cycling Weekly after quitting Tour

Schleck savours first ever Tour de France jersey [stage 15]

Comment: Why Cav is right to go home today

Cavendish pulls out of the Tour

Barloworld to end cycling sponsorship

Ricco speaks on Italian television

Cavendish joins the all-time greats

Saunier Duval sack Ricco and Piepoli

Tour bosses say fight against doping continues

Ricco denies doping at the Tour

Saunier Duval pull out of Tour

Tour’s top ten changes

Ricco positive for EPO at Tour

Analysis: Tour de France rest day summary

Cavendish battles through Pyrenees

Evans suffers but takes yellow jersey [stage 10]

Analysis: Hautacam shakes up 2008 Tour

Ricco silences critics with solo attack in Pyrenees [stage nine]

Cavendish talks about his second stage win [stage eight]

Beltran heads home but doubts remain about other Tour riders

David Millar: the dope controls are working

Manuel Beltran tests positive for EPO at the Tour

Comment: How the Tour rediscovered its spirit

Doping back in Tour de France headlines

Millar: close but no cigar in Super-Besse [stage six]

Super-Besse shows form of main contenders [stage six]

Millar to go for yellow [stage six]

Team Columbia’s reaction to Cavendish’s win [stage five]

Cavendish talks about his Tour stage win

Tour comment: Why Evans should be happy [stage four]

Millar: Still aiming for Tour yellow jersey [stage 4]

Who is Romain Feillu?

Cavendish disappointed with stage two result

Millar too close to Tour yellow jersey

Stage 2 preview: A sprint finish for Cavendish?

Millar happy after gains precious seconds in Plumelec

Valverde delighted with opening Tour stage win

Comment: Is Valverde’s win a good thing for the Tour?

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: PHOTOS

Stage 20

Stage 19

Stage 18

Stage 17

Stage 15

Stage 14

Stage 13

Stage 12

Stage 11

Stage 11

Stage 10

Stage nine

Stage eight

Stage seven

Stage six

Stage five

Stage four

Stage three

Stage two

Stage one

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: BLOGS

Life at the Tour part five

Life at the Tour part four

Life at the Tour part three

Life at the Tour part two

Life at the Tour part one

TOUR DE FRANCE 2008: GUIDE

Tour de France 2008 homepage>>

News and features>>

All the riders (start list, list of abandons)>>

Day by day summary>>

Route & stages>>

Teams and riders>>

About the Tour>>