The King of Spain sent a special message to native son Pedro Delgado, who now rules the cycling world.
Delgado, after five years of setbacks, won the Tour de France Sunday, and received messages from King Juan Carlos and a personal welcome from more than 5,000 hometown residents of Segovia who traveled to Paris to cheer their hero.Segovians were overjoyed at his victory in Spain, too. Fans shouted, car horns honked and church bells rang at the moment when Delgado crossed the finish line to complete a 2,036-mile journey clockwise around France that began on July 4. It was the 75th edition of the classic world's most prestigious cycling race.
With five stages left in the race, he had a crisis that threatened his lead, which he first gained on July 14.
It was revealed that a drug test taken on July 15 turned out positive. A second test confirmed he had traces of probenicid in his system.
He was not penalized because the drug is not on the list of banned substances of the International Cycling Union. Probenicid, often used to cover detection of anabolic steroids, is on the banned list of the International Olympic Committee.
Also in Paris, Jeannie Longo said she couldn't compare this year's victory in the women's Tour de France with last year's.
Longo, 29, of Grenoble in eastern France, won the race for the second straight year Sunday. She took the overall leader's yellow jersey, from Monique Knol of the Netherlands following the July 9 prologue and never gave it up, finishing in 22 hours, 41 minutes and 38 seconds.