By Jean-François Quénet in Morzine
Oscar Pereiro remembers "a lot of confusion" when he crossed the line in Morzine. "It took me four minutes to realize that I still had the yellow jersey", he told Cyclingnews while drinking loads of water bottles to be able to undergo the doping control. "During the stage I've thought it was over for me", he said.
The showman from Galicia summed it up: "This was clearly an impressive cycling day." First, he was impressed by his former teammate Floyd Landis when he rode away. "He was going fast, fast, fast…" Later, he spoke with his compatriot Carlos Sastre, asking for some cooperation from CSC prior to climb the grueling Joux-Plane. "But today, for me, the most spectacular effort was the work of the Caisse d'Épargne team.
"In my head, after Floyd's attack, I thought this was a very difficult day," he recalled. "When we reached Joux-Plane, I chose not to ride flat out with the other guys but take my rhythm, then I continuously accelerated. I said to myself: 'plus', 'plus', 'plus'. It's the yellow jersey that made me do 'plus' all the way.
"Keeping the yellow jersey is a nice bonus for my team," he added. "Yesterday, we thought that Floyd was out for GC, and today he's got the Tour in his hands. Theoretically, he's going to win it. He's the hot favourite now. For me, the time trial will be a little bit difficult."
In Montélimar, after stage 13, Phonak's team manager John Lelangue was convinced that his former rider Pereiro wasn't a danger. However, he'll remain a danger till the end.