By Antonio J. Salmerón
In an interview published by El Dia, Oscar Pereiro, second-place finisher at the last Tour de France, was asked on what he felt when Floyd Landis attacked on the stage to Morzine where he regained most of the time lost the previous day.
"I knew him last year at Phonak and know that he trains very intensively, and has taken care of himself very well," said Pereiro. "He is a cyclist of great physical and mental quality. What I felt? We believed that the situation was in control. I said that, at the end, I was going to gain the Tour, but in a harder way. I spent that night a little frustrated, though, after seeing the sensational performance demonstrated by Floyd Landis. He had denied me the possibility of gaining the Tour".
The Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears rider recognizes that, although everybody celebrated him when he arrived at home, "I am a modest rider who has gone little by little in this sport, finished second in the Tour when neither I have the condition nor am I Miguel Induráin. When the Landis affair appeared, I was still satisfied being second and wanted to forget everything that happened."
At the worlds, Pereiro was not selected by Francisco Antequera for his national team, but he is happy with the Spanish participation in Salzburg. "It is necessary to be realistic and to value the conquered bronze medal. Although it was difficult for us, the national team did some very hard work obtaining it."