2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro’s threat of legal action against the Astana team has been followed by the news today that the team will, after all, sign the rider for the 2010 season. The 32-year-old Galician will therefore assist Alberto Contador as he attempts to win his third Tour, drawing on his proven climbing abilities and experience to help his fellow Spaniard.
Astana released a brief statement this afternoon confirming the move.
“The Spanish rider Oscar Pereiro signed a one year agreement with the Team Astana,” it read. “He will take part in the first training camp in Pisa (Italy) this week.”
Pereiro had previously been offered a deal by the team but then accused it of rescinding on the agreement. He stated recently that this had left him facing almost certain retirement, as he had missed out on the chance to race for Belgian team Quick Step.
His biggest career achievement is victory in the 2006 Tour de France, a result that was achieved both by his presence in a long-distance breakaway move and also Floyd Landis’ positive test. He also finished tenth three times in the race, as well as taking a stage in 2005.
Pereiro suffered a bad crash on stage fifteen of last year’s Tour de France, suffering bad injuries when he fell over a guardrail on a descent. He has not yet returned to top form, and withdrew from this year’s race on the eighth stage.
He will welcome today’s news as it gives him the opportunity to put a better end to his career, while also trying to help Contador take what would be Spain’s fifth successive Tour win.
More to follow...