By Monika Prell
Spaniard Luis Pérez (Andalucía-Cajasur) will leave cycling with a second major victory in his palmarès after breaking away to win Stage 18 of the Vuelta a España in Ávila. The 33 year-old, winner of Stage 2 at the 2003 Vuelta, is set to end his professional career this year which began with ONCE in 1995.
"I am now one of the happiest people in the world," declared Pérez. "I want to dedicate the win to my team Andalucía-Cajasur - from the riders to the whole outfit because it was the only team that had faith in me and cared about having me on its roster."
Interviewed on Spanish television channel TVE, he denied that the victory would have any impact on his imminent retirement, saying: "Although I got today's stage win, I already made the decision. I spent 13 years as a professional rider. For me, there's no better way to finish my career than getting a victory in the Vuelta a España."