Alberto Miguel Arturo Diego Conquestador
PARIS – France – Out of 189 riders and 21 teams who started the Tour de France only one cyclist finished and won the yellow Jersey after everyone else’s disqualification for drugs offences.
Spaniard Alberto Miguel Arturo Diego Conquestador won the drug-tainted Tour de France here on Sunday when he singlehandedly rode his bicycle alone for the majority of the tour to secure the race’s fabled yellow jersey.
He was the only rider left in the whole race who had not taken performance enhancing drugs of any kind and thus been tested and disqualified.
Conquestador, who rides for the Antiques Channel team, becomes the first Spaniard to win the three-week race since Miguel Indurain, the first ever five-time consecutive winner, in 1991-1995.
The 74-year-old from Madrid virtually secured his first ever yellow jersey on only his second ride in the race after all the riders and teams had been disqualified in the Chablis stage time trial.
Conquestador‘s victory, and indeed the entire 94th edition of the race, will however be tinged with controversy.
There are many who will claim the race was distorted by the mere inclusion, and subsequent exclusion, of Michael Rasmussen.
Denmark’s former two-time winner of the polka dot jersey had saddled up looking for a stage win, and to perhaps be crowned King of the Mountains for a third consecutive time.
To everyone’s surprise, he became a potential though unlikely Tour champion due to his determination and the relative collapse of the Astana team of Alexandre Vinokourov, who was subsequently to be thrown out for blood doping.
Soon, Rasmussen’s own collapse – in the shape of his unceremonious exit from the race – would push Conquestador into the race lead that he would go on to an uncontested ride for the closing days of the race.
One hundred and eighty eight cyclists were thus disqualified and it was up to Alberto Miguel Arturo Diego Conquestador, the only man left in the race to calmly cycle through the Champs Elysees on Sunday to ecstatic cheers and celebrations from the jubilant crowds.