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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 August 2006, 17:11 GMT 18:11 UK
I am the Tour champion - Pereiro
Oscar Pereiro during the latter stages of the Tour de France
Pereiro finished 57 seconds behind Landis
Spaniard Oscar Pereiro declared himself the true Tour de France champion after confirmation of a positive dope test for yellow jersey winner Floyd Landis.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) is set to strip Landis of the title.

Pereiro, who finished second, 57 seconds adrift, said the fact that he now stands to win the race by default would not diminish his own achievement.

"Right now I feel like the winner of the Tour de France," Pereiro said. "It's a victory for the whole team."

The 29-year-old made up nearly 29 minutes on stage 13 of the Tour in a five-man breakaway which the yellow jersey group allowed to succeed.

If his victory is confirmed by the UCI, Pereiro, who rides for the Caisse d'Epargne-Iles Baleares team, would become the first Spaniard to win the Tour since Miguel Indurain's last victory in 1995.

To us Landis can no longer be the Tour winner

Race director Christian Prudhomme
Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme has already said Landis can no longer be considered the winner.

"Clearly for us Landis' name shouldn't be written on the scoreboard as the winner of the 2006 Tour," he said.

"Formally this will take weeks, months. It will happen as it happened at the Tour of Spain, where after Roberto Heras' positive test the runner-up was declared as the winner.

"Logically that is how it will be. What I can say is that to us he can no longer be the winner of the Tour de France 2006."

Prudhomme said that despite the turmoil that the Landis furore has plunged cycling into, his positive test made Tour organisers even more determined to eradicate the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

"It is a big mess and there is now an even stronger will to fight doping because the yellow jersey shouldn't be blemished," he added.

"So we will fight as we proved with the sponsors before the start of the Tour de France in Strasbourg.

"We said it when we excluded the favourites who were involved in the doping affair in Spain. There is a strong will and it will be implemented more than ever without any doubts."

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