By Shane Stokes in Brest
Oscar Pereiro may be starting the 2008 Tour as the only previous winner in the peloton, but he has no pretensions of taking his second overall victory. The 30-year-old Spaniard stated on Friday that he was prepared to ride for Caisse d'Epargne team-mate Alejandro Valverde in the race.
"It is clear that our chances of winning are with Alejandro," he told the assembled media at the team's pre-race press conference. "He is the leader. As for me, I will do the best Tour I can. I will do the race in a relaxed way.
"I have two goals; the first is to be beside Alejandro and to help him in the most difficult moments of the race. Also, if an opportunity presents itself, I will seize it. I will take it day by day and see how things go."
With the confirmation on Monday that Floyd Landis' appeal to CAS was dismissed, Pereiro's win in the 2006 Tour de France is now secure. He was asked for his response to the latest decision, and said that it was time for everyone to move on.
"We are starting the 2008 Tour, not in 2006," he replied. "So, out of respect for the riders who are here to do this race, I don't want to talk too much about 2006. For me, this story has finished, ever since last October when I got the yellow jersey.
"The best thing is that this case is archived, that my name is as the winner of 2006 and we focus instead on the fight for the Tour of 2008, 2009 and 2010."