Sastre's dream to come true as he takes yellow jersey

Carlos Sastre looks certain to ride into Paris to celebrate his first Tour de France win after fending off all his major rivals in the decisive 53km time trial.

Sastre led by 84 seconds going into the penultimate stage but it had been widely expected that Cadel Evans, a far superior time trialist, would leapfrog the Spaniard right at the death.

Carlos Sastre

CSC team rider Carlos Sastre, of Spain, crosses the finish line during the 20th time trial stage of the Tour de France

Instead, it was Evans who cracked under the pressure and he managed to claw back
only 29 seconds to leave himself to expect second place overall for the second successive year.

Stefan Schumacher won the stage in 1hr 3min 50sec but, barring unforeseen circumstances, it will be Sastre who wears the yellow jersey up the Champs Elysees to become the third Spanish winner of the Tour de France in a row.

‘The dream has come true,’ said the CSC rider. ‘I was calm this morning because I knew it was an opportunity of a lifetime for me. It’s all about teamwork.

‘I was feeling better and better on this tour because of the help of my team-mates.’

Sastre, who had taken the yellow jersey on Wednesday with a bold attack up the daunting ascent to l’Alpe d’Huez, should trundle into Paris today with a 65-second
advantage over Evans.

Austrian climber Bernard Kohl is in third place overall. Britain’s David Millar crossed the line in fifth place.

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