Pedro Delgado, Spanish, 1960 -
Pedro Delgado won the 1988 Tour de France and the 1985 and 1989 Vueltas. This photo is from the 1989 Vuelta.
He was an interesting, disorganised and entertaining rider - turning up late, getting the bonk - and then clawing back huge chunks of time through daring attacks. He was far from the highly managed, tightly focussed, utterly ruthless, Tour-winning, robot that was Lance Armstrong.
However, like Lance he did have his run-ins with the anti-doping authorities. On the 17th Stage of the 1988 Tour he tested positive for probenecid, a masking agent used to disguise the use of anabolic steroids. This substance was outlawed by the IOC, but not banned by the UCI. As the Tour followed the UCI’s diktat, he had not broken any rules - and was allowed to continue the Tour without any sanction. At the time, a 10 minute penalty was inflicted for this kind of positive test and Pedro Delgado, controversially, led the General Classification at the end of the Tour by 7 minutes and 13 seconds.
Many were disgusted - but the majority were won over by his innocent smile and boyish charm - no trace of Lance there, then.