After watching the Giro's stage sixteen, I have new-found admirationfor a man who refuses to beat his chest and talk-the-talk.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

You've got to hand it to Carlos Sastre - the Spaniard has attitude that greatly impresses.

And
after watching the Giro's stage sixteen, I have new-found admiration
for a man who refuses to beat his chest and talk-the-talk.

He's a quiet achiever who simply let's his legs do the talking.

His performance on Monte Petrano took me back to Alpe d'Huez last year when he turned the Tour de France on its head with a single blow.

Well, he hasn't quite turned the Giro on its head yet, and he probably won't be able to edge past either race leader Denis Menchov or Danilo di Luca on the GC, but one thing is certain, he's well on his way to securing a place on the podium when the race ends in Rome on Sunday.

Few of the so-called "experts" could bring themselves to tipping Sastre as a serious contender before the Giro started.

After
all, at 34 years-of-age, many thought by winning Le Tour last year, he
had reached the pinnacle of his career and there's was nothing else to
prove.

After today's showing, I'm sure the critics are
certain to review their thoughts when analysing the likely prospects at
this year'sTdF.

There's no doubt Sastre feels he still has so much to offer.

His Aussie teammate Simon Gerrans has expressed, on countless occasions at the Giro, of his priorities at helping Sastre to possible victory.

Well, Gerro
wasn't exactly called upon on the brutal climb to the finish line, but
I'm sure he'll be satisfied of his leader's qualities with the view of
looking ahead to theTdF.

The result was even more remarkable given the events of twenty-four hours earlier.

Some doubters questioned Cervelo's tactics when team director Jean-Paul van Poppel ordered Serge Pauwels back to the bunch at a time when the Belgian was well in the race for stage honours when he joined eventual winner Leonardo Bertagnolli in a critical break.

it certainly was a puzzling decision, but it's all been forgotten given the events of today.

Special mention must go to Lance Armstrong on a hugely disappointing day for Astana.

Levi Leipheimer's hopes have certainly ended, yet Armstrong was simply incredible.

For
a man who is appearing in his first Grand Tour in four years and broke
a collarbone two months ago, it's hard to believe he could race the way
he did on stage sixteen.

He again showed his qualities as a team player - always willing to help his fellow American get back into the race.

With Leipheimer
now out of contention for overall honours, there's no reason for Lance
not to go for a stage victory himself before the Giro ends.

I'm one who hopes he does - he deserves it.

As
for Michael Rogers? well, I guess I can uncross my fingers for him now.
I'm sure he'll be the first to admit, he has been beaten by superior
riders.

But it's not to say he won't draw from this Giro experience and take it to France in July.