Pereiro to miss Vuelta a España, worsening hand injury requires operation
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pereiro to miss Vuelta a España, worsening hand injury requires operation

by Conal Andrews at 9:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
2006 Tour winner could become directeur sportif with Astana after retirement

Oscar PereiroFormer Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro has been forced to cancel the final Grand Tour of his career, putting an end to his dream of bidding farewell to cycling with a stage win in the Vuelta a España.

The Astana rider has been struggling with a hand injury that is a legacy of his bad crash in the 2008 Tour de France. It was aggravated in the recent Tour of Poland, and since then has got progressively worse.

Pereiro has been consulting specialists and had sessions of ultrasound and massage, but nothing has worked. He has not been able to train for several days, meaning that he is losing more and more condition, and he has also learned that an operation is necessary.

“Going to the Vuelta is almost impossible,” he told the Faro de Vigo newspaper. “There are only ten days and I don’t see any possibility.”

In recent days he told the Voz de Galicia just how bad the inury was affecting him. “I do not even have the strength to open a door or turn a key, let alone the ability to ride my bike.”

With his hand becoming more and more swollen, his doctor has said that he should have an operation right away. While the surgery itself is not that complicated, it will require a period of recovery and thus riding a three week race is out of the question.

Instead, he will look to doing a farewell event later in the year. One possibility is the Criterium of Valencia, which takes place on October 3rd, but that will depend on both his recovery and also his team not needing him elsewhere.

Pereiro has struggled for much of the season, and suffered a blow to his morale when he was overlooked for the team for the Tour de France. He won the race in 2006 and has thrice placed tenth overall, but freely admits that taking the yellow jersey has made his life tougher as it has raised expectations to unreasonable levels.

He grabbed the yellow jersey in the race by getting into a long distance break that gained a significant amount of time. He then lost out to Floyd Landis, who fought back with a dramatic, yet improbable ride to Morzine, but was ultimately crowned the Tour winner after the American tested positive for testosterone.

Pereiro considered doing one more year with Astana, but any chance of that evaporated when Alberto Contador decided to move from Astana to Saxo Bank – Sungard.

However the 33 year old might yet have a future with the team. According to Marca, he has been offered a role as a directeur sportif to the team. No decision has yet been made on that.

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