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Mont Ventoux
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An interview with Oscar Pereiro, July 21, 2006

"It's not impossible to win"

Brecht Decaluwé was in Mâcon to find out how the maillot jaune was feeling before one of the biggest challenges of his life.

Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne)
Photo ©: Sirotti
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Q: Can you tell us something about what happened yesterday?

OP: It's really a pity what happened because, as well as for Sastre as for me, it was a golden opportunity to win the Tour de France. Now we are at the eve of the time trial and Floyd Landis has joined us. He's one of the best time triallists in the world, he's probably ready to win the race. Still, I'm happy with what my team and myself did yesterday. We did all that was possible for us to do.

Q: What do you think about the long time trial? Do you think you can do well?

OP: Normally, a good time trial would mean that I don't lose more than two minutes on the winner. Tomorrow is another challenge though, as I'm only allowed to lose 29 seconds on Landis. It will be a very difficult day for me but you never know what can happen.

Q: We saw that you went to Carlos Sastre and you spoke with him. Can you give us some information on the content of that conversation?

OP: I don't have to give any explanation to anybody... but I was angry. I did my job yesterday so I'm happy with what I did myself. But of course, I didn't understand the way they acted yesterday, that's for sure.

Q: Do you have the feeling that you gave away a golden opportunity to win the Tour de France?

Riding in the bunch
Photo ©: AFP
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OP: No, I don't think so as we couldn't do anything more as a team. Certainly not, if you look at the start of the Tour de France, when I went in the breakaway in the stage towards Montélimar. If the other teams knew then that I would still be in the yellow jersey today, they wouldn't have let me go. Of course, it will be very difficult for me to win the Tour. But it's not impossible. If I win the Tour de France, I will be very happy. If I don't, then I'll be happy as well, because I did all I could to win it.

Q: Did you already ended up in as situation like this during your career, where you needed to battle it all out during a final time trial?

OP: Yes, I had it once while being a amateur when I won the time trial and the GC. At the Tour de Suisse in 2003, I had the same situation with Jan Ullrich. There I finished only a few seconds behind him. I think I've got good experience from that, so I'm optimistic.

Tomorrow is of course very particular, as it is a long time trial and all the specialists are here. But after twenty very hard days, it is even more difficult. It's probably more a question of how you're feeling. I can say that I felt very good today, so I hope it will be the same tomorrow.

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