Spain's 2006 Tour de France champion Oscar Pereiro admitted Tuesday that he thought he was going to die after a spectacular fall during the 15th stage at the weekend.
The Caisse d'Epargne rider toppled over a security barrier on his way down the Col d'Agnel in the Alps between France and Italy, falling several metres onto the road below.
"I was going much faster than those on the left. I think that (Damiano) Cunego (Lampre team) got a slight fright. He made an abrupt manoeuvre and I couldn't avoid him," Pereiro told the Spanish press.
"I went over the barrier and I saw ... I had a vision from high above. I saw myself in the air and hit my head. I thought I was going to die and hoped to feel nothing. To be unconscious when I hit the ground."
Pereiro, who was in 15th position when he crashed out of the race, suffered a fractured arm and is due to undergo surgery in Vigo, north west Spain on Tuesday.
The Spaniard was declared the winner of the 2006 Tour de France after American Floyd Landis was stripped of the title for taking testosterone.
© AFP 2008