Spaniard Pereiro is winner of 2006 Tour de France

16th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

16 October 2007, PARIS - (EFE).- Spanish cyclist Oscar Pereiro, who finished second in the 2006 Tour de France behind Floyd Landis, received here Monday the yellow jersey signifying victory in the world's premier bike race some 15 months after the U.S. rider was disqualified for a positive doping test.The leader of the Caisse d'Epargne was awarded the jersey and the championship trophy in a ceremony at the Madrid headquarters of Spain's Sports Council."At times I started thinking that the Tour had somethin

16 October 2007

PARIS - (EFE).- Spanish cyclist Oscar Pereiro, who finished second in the 2006 Tour de France behind Floyd Landis, received here Monday the yellow jersey signifying victory in the world's premier bike race some 15 months after the U.S. rider was disqualified for a positive doping test.

The leader of the Caisse d'Epargne was awarded the jersey and the championship trophy in a ceremony at the Madrid headquarters of Spain's Sports Council.

"At times I started thinking that the Tour had something against me," Pereiro said, commenting on how long organizers waited to officially proclaim him the winner of last year's race.

"Until I got here I didn't realized what an important moment this was and with what an impact this story had to end, so I can't do less than give thanks to the Tour de France organization for all that," he said.

On Sept. 21, a day after a U.S. arbitration panel voted 2-1 to strip Landis of the 2006 title for having used synthetic testosterone, the International Cycling Union formally annointed the Spaniard as the 2006 Tour champion.

"Now I understand there were a series of legal procedures that had to be completed and the proof of all that is that now we're here, although Landis appealed the verdict of the U.S. (cycling) commission at the Court of Arbitration for Sport," Pereiro said Monday.

Landis continues to protest his innocence and has appealed to the Swiss-based CAS.

Wearing the Tour de France winner's yellow jersey, Pereiro acknowledged that it "is difficult to explain what one feels at such a time and there were moments during the ceremony that I had to contain my emotion - it's just that the 15 months of waiting makes this a special moment," he said.

While acknowledging the uncertainty over what the CAS might do, the Spaniard said that "nothing can ruin this moment for me, today is a day to enjoy with my family, with my son and with the whole team."

After expressing sympathy for Landis, Pereiro said that "the way it happened is not something to be pleased about, but sports have rules."

The 2007 Tour de France, likewise marred by doping scandals, was won by young Spanish rider Alberto Contador. EFE

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Subject: Spanish news

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