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Oscar Pereiro defended his jersey until the last metre

Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne)

Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) (Image credit: Sirotti)

Although he ultimately finished 14th, 2'49 off the stage winner and lost the race lead to Floyd Landis by just ten seconds, Oscar Pereiro said he was proud of his performance and that of his Caisse d'Epargne squad today.

"I am satisfied because after my bad performance in Pla de Beret, I had many doubts," he said. "Today I took confidence again in myself and in my shape. Tomorrow, the responsibility for the race will rest on other shoulders."

Pereiro congratulated his team-mates for their effort, including David Arroyo, who was in the break and dropped back to help his team leader. "It is a pity that we could not manage to save the leadership, but we nevertheless did the maximum to try," Arroyo stated afterwards. "I believe we achieved a great job today."

Pereiro recorded a time of 40'14 for the ascent, the eighth best of the day.

Meanwhile his team-mate Nicolas Portal crashed on the descent of the Izoard and suffered from a contusion to the right knee and to the right elbow.

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