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Indurain: 'Dignity must come before everything'

5-time winner warns of imminent tour collapse

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Posted: Thursday July 30, 1998 10:19 AM

  Indurain is the only cyclist in history to have won the tour for five consecutive years Mike Powell/Allsport

MADRID, Spain (CNN/SI) -- Miguel Indurain, five-time winner of the Tour de France sounded a warning to the cycling world Thursday that without dignity, things would only get worse in this year's Tour de France.

Indurain who won the tour from 1991 to 1995 thereby becoming the only cyclist in history to have won the tour for five consecutive years, wrote a column in the Spanish sports daily Marca, urging everyone involved in the sport to remember that dignity is more important than winning, even in the sport's showpiece event.

"What we saw yesterday isn't cycling," Indurain wrote. "Yesterday we witnessed, for another day, something that we didn't want to see.

"This tour started badly and it's going to finish worse."

"There is something more important than winning. Dignity must come before everything, including victory in a race as important as the tour. You can't treat people without respect," Indurain added.

Indurain said he was also disappointed for race leader Marco Pantini, the Italian who looked odds on to win the race.

"The sight of Pantani at the top of the podium was the saddest thing," added Indurain. "It's a shame.

"We would all have preferred for none of this to happen but dignity is the most valuable thing."


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