Óscar Pereiro

Óscar Pereiro Sio (born August 3, 1977 in Mos, Galicia) is a Spanish professional road bicycle racer best known for winning the 2006 Tour de France after the original winner, Floyd Landis, was disqualified for failing a series of doping tests. Pereiro currently rides for the Caisse d'Epargne cycling team. He is a former member of the Portugal-based team Porta da Ravessa (2000 to 2001) and the Swiss-based team Phonak Hearing Systems (2002 to 2005).

Early career

Pereiro placed tenth in the 2004 Tour de France, 22 minutes 54 seconds behind Tour winner Lance Armstrong. He was awarded the Most Aggressive Rider Award in the 2005 Tour de France after powering the winning breakaways in Stages 15, 16 and 18. He was the Stage 16 winner - just edging out Spain's Xabier Zandio, Italy's Eddy Mazzoleni and Australia's Cadel Evans. His efforts on Stage 15, the toughest stage of the Tour, were highly admired by the peloton. He finished second that day to Discovery Channel's George Hincapie after "pulling" for most of the final climb up the Pla D'Adet.

Pereiro was considered a leader on Phonak along with Landis and Santiago Botero in 2005 - his last year riding for the team.

2006 Tour de France

Pereiro rode a Pinarello Dogma FP bike throughout the 2006 Tour de France. His breakaway Stage 13 second-place finish (just behind Germany's Jens Voigt) gained him almost 30 minutes on most of the General Classification leaders and propelled him into an unexpected yellow jersey. He traded the overall lead back and forth with Floyd Landis over the next few days before finally losing it to him for good on the second to last day of the Tour.

After hearing of Landis' positive "A" test, Pereiro stated that it was only an initial, unconfirmed result and he would not yet consider Landis guilty or himself the Tour winner. "I have too much respect for Landis to do otherwise", he said. After hearing that the Landis "B" test also came back positive, Pereiro stated that he now considers himself Tour champion and the Landis scandal should not diminish his own achievement. "Right now I feel like the winner of the Tour de France", Pereiro said. "It's a victory for the whole team.

On September 20, 2007, Landis was found guilty of doping and ordered that he forfeit his 2006 Tour de France victory, making Pereiro the official winner.

Doping investigation

On January 18, 2007, French newspaper Le Monde reported that Pereiro also tested positive during the 2006 Tour de France. It is alleged that salbutamol was found in two urine samples, produced after stages 14 (Montélimar - Gap, in which Pereiro finished 26th) and 16 (Bourg-d'Oisans - La Toussuire, 3rd place). In the latter stage, Pereiro retook the yellow jersey from Landis.

Salbutamol is commonly used to treat asthma symptoms, and is allowed to be used in cycle racing if the cyclist can provide a medical prescription for the substance. It is alleged that the International Cycling Union gave Pereiro retroactive permission to use the substance on medical grounds after the positive tests. The French anti-doping agency questions the veracity of the medical grounds. It demanded that Pereiro verify the grounds for the use of salbutamol within a week.

On January 25, 2007, France's anti-doping agency dropped its investigation, saying Pereiro provided sufficient justification for use of the asthma medication.

Crash in 2008 Tour de France

On July 20 during the 15th stage of 2008 Tour de France, Pereiro crashed at the 89 kilometre mark over a guardrail just prior to a hairpin turn during the descent of the Col Agnel landing on the other side of the turn, which meant the end of the tour for him. Initially, he was thought to have broken his femur and arm, but later it was learned that this was not the case. He suffered a broken arm but never lost consciousness and was taken to a nearby hospital in Cuneo. During this Tour, Pereiro was working for Caisse d'Epargne team captain Alejandro Valverde but when it became clear in the Pyrenees that Valverde had lost too much time, he and Valverde managed to maintain placings in the top 20 riders.

Major results

Tour de France finishes

  • 2004: 10th overall (+22' 54")
  • 2005: 10th overall (+16' 04"); (Winner Stage 16)
  • 2006: 1st overall*; Holder of the Maillot jaune for 5 non-consecutive days. (*upgraded to a first place finish, from second, after Floyd Landis tested positive on urine tests.)
  • 2007: 10th overall (+14' 25")
  • 2008: DNF


U23 Cyclo-Cross Champion (in Los Corrales de Buelna)2001
Stage 3 – Grande Premio R.L.V.T. (2.5) - 166.1 km2002
Stage 5 – Setmana Catalana (2.1) - 144 km2003
Stage 6 – Tour de Suisse (2.HC) - 135 km2004
Classique des Alpes (1.1) - 165 km2005
Tour de France
Winner Combativity Competition
1st, Stage 16 (PT) - 180.5 km
Prologue – Tour de Romandie (PT) - 3.4 km (ITT)2006
Tour de France
'''Winner overall classification
10th, Mountains classification
10th, Points classification


External links

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