15 MONTHS ON, PEREIRO FINALLY TO GET YELLOW JERSEY
Race director Christian Prudhomme will present Spaniard Oscar Pereiro with the 2006 Tour de France winner’s yellow jersey next Monday, putting an end to a saga which has now lasted 15 months and done nothing but harm to cycling's credibility.
The ceremony will be in Madrid, hosted by the Spanish government-run Sports Council. Spain’s Minister of Sport, Jaime Lissavetzky, and Patrice Clerc, the president of ASO, the company which owns and runs the Tour de France will also be present.
After losing half an hour in the Pyrenees in the 2006 Tour, Pereiro then took yellow after getting in a break on a transition stage in the race’s second week. He finally completed the 2006 Tour de France 57 seconds behind American overall leader Floyd Landis.
But after Landis tested positive for the banned drug synthetic testosterone - the first time in the history of the race that a Tour winner has tested positive - the UCI finally declared Pereiro the winner on September 21 this year.
The UCI’s declaration followed a 2-1 decision by a US Anti-Doping Agency arbitration panel to ban Landis for doping, a verdict Landis still disputes.
Pereiro finished 10th in this year’s Tour, the same result as he acheived in 2005 and 2004.
Landis still has time - until October 20 - to appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport [CAS], his last line of defence.
So far Landis has not indicated that he will do so and to judge by his comments to ESPN.com shortly after the USADA decision - “I don’t have any reason to believe that CAS is any more sincere” - it seems unlikely he will.