Carlos Sastre, the last Tour de France winner to go on to start the Vuelta a España, believes Chris Froome can win the Spanish race

Only one man has previously started the Vuelta a España having won the Tour de France since the Spanish race moved to the Autumn and although Carlos Sastre couldn’t win the second Grand Tour he believes the double is possible.

Chris Froome will become the second maillot jaune winner to line up at the Vuelta when the race rolls out of Puerto Bañus on Saturday and has designs on joining Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault as Tour/Vuelta double winners.

While Sastre could only manage third place in the Vuelta back in 2008, he claims it was down to a lack of support from his CSC team, after a disagreement with manager Bjarne Riis, rather than a too difficult challenge.

“Of course it’s very doable,” Sastre told Spanish newspaper AS. “You can do two to three big tours with a real chance of winning. I tried it in 2008 but I lacked support to get it.

“I was physically well, and that between Tour and Vuelta I faced a long shift at the Beijing [Olympic] Games.”

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Cycling Weekly’s guide to the Vuelta a España

While Sastre had 33 days of rest between his Tour win and the start of the Vuelta, Froome has had just 26, although the Brit says he is well rested after his French exploits.

Sastre may believe the double is possible, but he isn’t backing the Team Sky rider to win the race.

“[Vincenzo] Nibali comes with a good team, and perhaps is the one with more possibilities,” he added.

  • elan

    Astana all the way for me.We saw how Contador on his own dropped the Sky train,and that was him after a hard Giro.Still think Alberto would have won the tour if it was his only race.The more Sky boast the more people question them,would have liked to see Alberto there to give a true challenge.

  • RobTM

    Sastre didn’t test postive or was involved in a dope scandal, and his surprise TdF win tempted the texan Master doper back out of retirement as it seemed soft.
    Have you some actual evidence to call him a doper?

  • Derek Biggerstaff

    And why do we care what this doper thinks?