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Pereiro almost certain to sit out Vuelta

Oscar Pereiro says that he is almost certain to miss the Vuelta a España due to a hand injury that is preventing him from training. The 2006 Tour de France champion has been told that he requires surgery to remove a lump that has formed between the metacarpal bones in his right hand. The injury stems from his horrific crash off the road while descending the Colle d’Agnello at the 2008 Tour.

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“The Vuelta is pretty much out of the question,” Pereiro told El Faro de Vigo. As a last hope, Pereiro is set to visit the holy shrine at Fátima after conventional treatment failed to resolve the problem.

“The race is only 10 days away and I can’t see any possibility of making it,” Pereiro confirmed. The Astana rider had hoped that ultrasound and massage treatment might enable him to delay the problem that flared up after he hit a pot-hole during the recent Tour of Poland. The pain is now so severe that the Spaniard cannot grip the bars with his right hand when riding.

Pereiro was hoping to finish his career with a competitive performance at his national tour, but is now considering calling a premature halt in order to have surgery on his hand. His doctor has told him that the procedure is not complicated and should require a minimum of time for recuperation. But he has also told Pereiro that there is not sufficient time remaining before the Vuelta to allow that surgery and recuperation.

Indications are that Pereiro may now pull down the curtain on his career at the prestigious Valencia criterium on October 3, where a special tribute is planned to pay homage to his career. Beyond that his future is uncertain, although the Faro de Vigo reports that he has been in talks with Astana about taking up a role as a directeur sportif.

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).