Freire says he’ll postpone retirement if he wins worlds
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Freire says he’ll postpone retirement if he wins worlds

by Shane Stokes at 2:19 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
 
Brabantse Pijl runner-up feeling good for Amstel Gold Race

Oscar FreireRiding with his most consistent form in several seasons, Oscar Freire today confirmed after placing second in Brabantse Pijl that there is one result that would prompt him to race in 2013: a record fourth world championship victory.

“For sure,” he smiled, when asked by Sporza if he would defer his retirement if he won the championships once again. “I would like to race another year with the champion’s jersey. I think it would be really difficult [to win], but why not?”

Freire showed his strong form today when, apart from the solo winner Thomas Voeckler, he was next best of the others in the race. He got clear in an eight man chase after the Frenchman jumped clear inside the final 30 kilometres; that octet never got the Europcar rider back, but Freire was able to net second ahead of Pieter Serry (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) and the others.

Rather than showing regret at not winning, he said that the right rider had triumphed. "Voeckler was the strongest today…he did a great move and he deserved to win,” he said. “Unfortunately we let him go at the beginning of his attack; then, when he had already a minute over us we started to chase him but it was too late. Maybe nobody wanted to take risks with this slippery road, considering the Ardennes Classic races start very soon.”

The charismatic Spaniard has already clocked up two wins and several strong results this year. He triumphed in the Tour Down Under and the Vuelta a Andalucia, taking stages in each, and was also second in the E3 Prijs Harelbeke, fourth in Gent –Wevelgem, seventh in Milan-Sanremo and twelfth in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen.

Next Sunday’s race has long been a target for him and he believes he could be well positioned, depending on how things play out. “It was a good result: I feel in a good shape also for the Amstel Gold Race,” he confirmed. “On Sunday there will be many more powerful riders, but I think our team is very strong. Moreover we have many strategies, depending on how the race will be,

“The finishing section is more suitable to Joaquim Rodriguez, and if the group keeps a high pace and there are just few riders going to fight for win, I think he will be one of the forerunners. Otherwise, if there will be a massive sprint, I'm ready to play my part.”

Whatever the result, one benefit of taking part is that he will have a chance to check out some of the roads for this year’s worlds, which takes in part of the same course. If he can then ensure he is in top shape towards the end of the season, he’ll head there thinking of a fourth rainbow jersey. And while that’s by no means a formality, success there could prompt him to remain in the peloton for one more season.
 

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