Former Tour de France winner Pereiro embarks on rally career
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Former Tour de France winner Pereiro embarks on rally career

by Shane Stokes at 3:18 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Motor racing is new passion for Spaniard

Oscar PereiroThe 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro may have spent time playing football in the Segunda División B club Coruxo FC after his 2010 retirement from cycling, but now he is turning his attention to a different kind of sport, namely rally driving.

The 34 year old has already dabbled in it, acting as a co-pilot to the driver Luis Penido in the Rally de San Froilán in early September. After that, he upgraded to the driver position in the Rally Race Comunidad de Madrid in November, finishing fourteenth.

Pereiro will now take things a step further and has decided to participate in the Campeonato de España de Rallys de Asfalto [Spanish championship of road rallys] in 2012. He will be part of the ACSM Rallye Team, together with the Pais brothers Alex and Santi plus Luis Penido. His debut is thought likely to come in the Rally Canarias in March.

Pereiro is just one of several former Tour winners to try his hand at motor racing. Triple Tour champion Greg LeMond and 1987 winner Stephen Roche also took part in competitions after hanging up their wheels, with the buzz of that sport helping to replace that of cycling. So too Floyd Landis, the rider who Pereiro replaced as 2006 Tour winner after the American tested positive. He has said that he is considering racing in NASCAR events.

The bike-car crossover has worked in the opposite direction too; Formula One drivers Michael Schumacher, Jensen Button, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Alain Prost are keen cyclists, with the latter regularly riding l’Etape du Tour.

Former Formula One driver Alex Zanardi is also a committed cyclist, albeit with a difference. A horrific motor-racing cost him his legs in 2001. He took up handcycling in 2007 and won that division of the New York Marathon last October. The Italian has qualified for the Paralympics and is aiming to take a gold medal there.


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