Pereiro on the up

2006 Tour winner Oscar Pereiro

2006 Tour winner Oscar Pereiro (Image credit: AFP)

After a less satisfying 2007 season, Caisse d'Epargne's Oscar Pereiro's morale is rising again. The winner of the 2006 Tour de France just finished the Tour de Romandie, and while he may not have scored any victory, the Spaniard is satisfied with how the race unfolded for him. Pereiro finished 11th behind time trial and overall winner Andreas Klöden (Astana) and was unlucky as a crash prevented him from an even better placing in stage four.

"I am in constant progression and that is what really matters," Pereiro affirmed in Lausanne, where Italian sprinter Daniele Bennati (Liquigas) took the stage victory on Sunday. "I got good results as well in the time trial as in the mountains, particularly in the high mountain stage on Saturday, with four first category climbs. I know I am on the right way. [On Saturday] I was in the group with the leader Andreas Klöden when at about 15 kilometres from the finish a dangerous curve surprised us and I crashed together with six or seven other riders. I started again immediately but it was no longer possible to come back in the group with the favourites."

Despite his bad luck, Pereiro felt that his legs matched his willpower again – something he had missed last season. "The crash was a pity because I really hoped to finish the stage as well as the general classification in the top ten, but that is not the most important element", he explained further.

"What is really important is that fact that after the difficult last year, I am again very well in my head, very concentrated and very motivated. I know what I want and where I'm going again. [On Sunday's last stage] I attacked the final kilometres, together with Kolobnev and Tiralongo. In fact we counter-attacked behind Nuyens, but there was nothing we could do against the sprinters' teams, and they caught us five kilometres from the finishing line. But we had to try to do something!", concluded Pereiro, whose next race could be the Criterium of the Dauphiné Libéré.

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