Carlos Sastre’s plan to leave Cervélo TestTeam after two years for team Geox caught many by surprise, including team-mate Dan Lloyd. Lloyd read the news yesterday after he returned home from a training ride on the coastal roads near his home in Bournemouth.
“I was a bit surprised to see that he was going,” said Lloyd.
“I have done all of my Grand Tours for him and I have learnt a hell of a lot from him. He has give me a lot of guidance in the races that we have done. I will be sorry to see him go, but I have to wish him the best at his new team.”
Spain’s Sastre announced yesterday that he will join Mauro Gianetti’s Geox team next year. Just as it was for Cervélo two years ago, Sastre’s arrival is a coup for Gianetti’s growing team and may help it receive ProTour status by the end of the year.
However, with Sastre gone, Lloyd and his Cervélo team will have to re-adjust.
“I’m sure Carlos was paid a good amount of money here, so it will free up some budget in the team to get another GC rider or a younger rider. We already have a very strong classics team,” continued Lloyd. “It would not surprise me if they want to replace him with a slightly younger rider.”
Lloyd made his debut in a Grand Tour last year at the Giro d’Italia, where he helped GC captain Carlos Sastre win two stages and Simon Gerrans win one. He continued racing Grand Tours this year with a repeat appearance at the Giro d’Italia and a debut at the Tour de France.
He explained his versatility will allow him to help in the Grand Tours, but also in the team’s already strong classics team that includes Roger Hammond and Thor Hushovd.
“The classics are always the major objective at the start of the season, the races I really love… The Tour of Flanders. I have never done Milan-San Remo and I would like to do that.
“I may stop by the end of September, early. That will give me a big period where I can train at home and build up before the training camps and the early season races. I want to be going really well for all the cobbled classics – except Paris-Roubaix where there are others better suited – and up through Amstel Gold.”
After the Tour of Britain, September 11 to 19, Lloyd may end his season on September 26 at France’s Tour de Vendée. Sastre will race the Vuelta a España, August 28 to September 19, which means the two have already said their final ‘good-bye’ when the Tour de France finished in Paris on July 25.