Spain’s Oscar Pereiro received the yellow jersey from the 2006 Tour de France at a ceremony in Madrid, officially replacing US rider Floyd Landis who was stripped of his title for doping.
“This is an emotional moment, a day that I will never forget,” said Pereiro after Tour director Christian Prudhomme awarded him the jersey.
Pereiro finished 57 seconds behind Landis in the final standings. But the International Cycling Union (UCI) formally declared Pereiro the winner on September 21 after Landis was found to be using synthetic testosterone during the Tour.
It was the first time in the history of the race that a winner has been stripped of the title.
“I feel very sorry for him. I can’t celebrate what happened but in sports there are rules that must be respected,” added Pereiro.
Landis has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, which is expected to issue a final ruling in February.
“Finally! It has been long, too long, you are a late winner but a real winner,” said Prudhomme as he awarded the jersey to Pereiro. “You have the right to your place among the winners of the Tour, it was on the road that you won,” he added.
Pereiro finished tenth at this year’s Tour de France, which was won by fellow Spaniard Alberto Contador, the surprise winner after Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen was
kicked out of the race when leading in a row over missed drugs tests.
© BikeRadar & AFP 2007