Oscar Pereiro 90% sure that he'll retire following Vuelta
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Friday, August 6, 2010

Oscar Pereiro 90% sure that he'll retire following Vuelta

by Jered Gruber at 1:59 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Former Tour de France winner looking forward to final Vuelta

The end of the road seems near for 2006 Tour de France winner, Oscar Pereiro. The Galician confessed that the upcoming Vuelta a Espana could be where he "lowers the curtain" on his career.

"I will not deny that I have an increased desire to go ahead and start thinking about other things in life beyond cycling. I'm thinking about my retirement, which now seems 90% secure. Lowering the curtain on my career at home with the Tour of Spain in the heart of Madrid would be a great way to do it."

The former most aggressive rider at the Tour de France in 2005 and then winner in 2006, who made a career out of long, successful breakaways in the Tour de France, also nearly had his career ended at the Tour. A horrific crash in the 2008 Grand Boucle on the descent of the Col d'Agnello provided for some of the most frightening images in recent years. Pereiro came out of the crash ok, but he has not been the same rider over the past two seasons. 

"Young riders are becoming stronger and the competition has changed since I became a professional. the stages are more nervous than before, when before, the first part was often easy. When you race and think about the dangers and think about what you're doing, you know it's time to quit."

At this point, 33 years old seems a young age to retire considering the continual lengthening of the careers of the top riders. Pereiro, however, not only seems to have lost his nerve a bit, but had a hard time dealing with the frustration of his non-selection to this year's Tour de France. The 2006 winner admits that had he been part of the Astana selection this July, he would have continued into 2011.

"If I had been able to race the Tour, I could have continued for another year. With that said, I understand the decision of Astana, because they had to take a certain number of riders from Kazakhstan."

The former Spanish U23 cyclocross champion considered retiring heading into 2010, but got a contract with Alberto Contador's Astana team at a late hour. It seems Pereiro sees the writing on the wall and is committed to leaving the sport with his held high after one last tour of his homeland. 


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