2006 Tour de France runner-up Oscar Pereiro is continuing to train in preparation for this year's race, holding a training camp with a handful of team-mates in the Pyrenees last weekend. The Spaniard, who is likely to be Caisse d'Epargne's leader alongside Alejandro Valverde, recently helped team-mate Vladimir Karpets secure victory at the Volta a Catalunya and will return to racing at the Dauphiné Libèré this coming Sunday, June 10.
"I felt very good in Catalunya, as well as now in the Pyrenees," he told Cyclingnews. "It has been very good for us all to be here."
Pereiro has enjoyed a relatively light racing schedule this season and acknowledged he would need more competitive kilometres in his legs to reach full Tour fitness. "That's the reason I'm going to the Dauphiné," he explained, "because it is a very hard race, with long and hard climbs, just what I need to reach my peak form."
With the Alps coming first this year as the Tour proceeds clockwise around France, Pereiro believes that the Pyrenean stages will be decisive. "Without any doubt, the one of Plateau de Beille and the Col d'Aubisque," he noted, referring to Stages 14 and 16.
And the favourites? "Vinokourov is very strong, but also Klöden, and both of them are in the same squad. It depends on how they will decide who is really the team leader."
Courtesy of Antonio J. Salmerón