Pereiro, Valverde and the Tour

By Antonio J. Salmerón

"It is not a sacrilege that I want to fight to win the Tour in 2007; I have my rights," Oscar Pereiro claimed with certain shade of annoyance when he was asked in an interview on Spanish radio Onda Regional de Murcia. The question was in relation to his statements to La Voz de Galicia last week, when he said, "... while if I will have options to win the Tour, I will not work for anybody."

Pereiro said the journalist "took it outside of context." The Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears rider assured that there is "a friendly relationship" with his teammate Alejandro Valverde. "Valverde is able to take the Tour someday, because he has a lot time and the quality".

He also talked about the next Tour, and said that "It will once again be a different, without a clear dominant person." Pereiro appeared not concerned that some riders allegedly linked in the Operación Puerto, such as Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich, could be back again. "What I want is to be among all the best riders."

Unlike his teammate, Valverde, Pereiro will delay the beginning of his 2007 season until April. "My calendar will be planned next week, December 14 to 15, in order to obtain my best form in the Tour." But he does plan to take part in the 2007 Vuelta a España, "because it will start in my region, Galicia," although he recognized that, "my high-priority objective is the Tour."

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