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Pereiro's Place in History

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In the blink of an eye Oscar Pereiro has become your 2006 Tour de France champion; apparently nothing brings the UCI and ASO together like the opportunity to disown Floyd Landis. Fair enough.

The whole process put on hold the subject of Pereiro: Grand Tour winner. Of course, we took the time to delve into this subject during the race itself, as Pereiro hung onto yellow heading into the last weekend. But he never got his coronation, and the subject was put to rest for a while. Now it's back.

Is Oscar Pereiro the worst Tour winner ever? There is no disputing his victory, at least among anyone who accepts the Landis DQ. Gift or no, he won. IMHO he won by default, among a field of guys who showed almost no initiative at any point in the race. Next on the podium is Andreas Kloden... and if you can remember the last time he launched a daring attack, I'd like to hear about it.

I am not a Pereiro fan, as should be clear from my comments. I suppose he may well be a fine person outside the sport, but he says lots of annoying things and seemed to have a lot of trouble remembering the 30-minute gift he got. Frankly, among accidental winners I'd rather have a beer with Roger Walkowiak. That said, if you dismiss Pereiro as the winner, who would you honor instead? Where on the final GC can you find a true Tour champion?