Oscar Pereiro will join Lance Armstrong on the list of Tour de France champions that will contest the 2009 Tour Down Under in South Australia, Australia. Pereiro, who was handed the Tour win after Floyd Landis had his results annulled, will lead his Caisse d'Epargne squad at the ProTour event while Armstrong is making his return to road racing with Astana.
"The Tour Down Under is honoured to have Pereiro and Armstrong competing at our event," said Mike Turtur, Tour Down Under Race Director. "Spectators in Adelaide will get to see some of the best cycling champions of our time. It's a great coup for the sport in this region and highlights the continued growth of the Tour Down Under."
Pereiro leads a squad which includes 2003 Tour Down Under winner Luis Leon Sanchez and is managed by Australian Neil Stephens. Turtur believes the Caisse d'Epargne team travelling to the 2009 Tour Down Under is a cycling powerhouse, with a strong history of victories and cycling achievements.
"A Tour de France winner, a Tour Down Under winner, and stage winners from the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia are all part of the Caisse d'Epargne team heading here next year," said Turtur. "Australians embraced Luis Leon Sanchez as a crowd favourite when he won the Tour Down Under in 2005, and I think he'll put in a strong performance again in 2009."
The 2008 Tour Down Under Share the Road Young Rider winner, Jose Rojas, will also return to the race.
Caisse d'Epargne for the 2009 Tour Down Under: Oscar Pereiro, Luis Leon Sanchez, Jose Rojas, Pablo Lastras, Nicolas Portal, Imanol Erviti and Mathieu Drujon.