Road

Pereiro: ‘Retirement is 90 percent assured’

2006 Tour de France winner Óscar Pereiro says he’s all but sure he will retire at the end of this season.

Óscar Pereiro says he’s all but sure he will retire at the end of this season.

After missing out on the Tour de France this year with Astana, the 2006 Tour winner says he hopes to go out with his head held high at the Vuelta a España next month. Pereiro is currently racing at the Tour of Poland and said he’s closer than ever to retirement.

“I am not going to deny that I am beginning to think about other things in life,” Pereiro the Spanish daily MARCA. “I am thinking about retirement, which is 90 percent assured. To step out of the pedals and end my career at home at the end of the Vuelta in Madrid is great way to do that.”

Pereiro, who turned 33 on Tuesday, said missing the Tour last month was a blow. He signed on with Astana for 2010 after nearly retiring at the end of last season with the hopes of riding in support of Alberto Contador.

“If I had gone to the Tour, I could have continued another year,” he continued. “Having said that, I can understand the decision by Astana, because they had to take a few Kazakh riders. The younger riders are getting stronger and the competition has changed a lot since I started. The stages are more nervous than before, when we used to take the first part of the race calmer. When a rider starts to think about what they’re doing here, then you know it’s time to leave it.”

Pereiro – who was named the winner of the 2006 Tour following the doping disqualification of Floyd Landis – is expected to start the Vuelta with Astana.