Freire turns down Euskaltel-Euskadi offer to transition from rider to coach
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Friday, October 05, 2012

Freire turns down Euskaltel-Euskadi offer to transition from rider to coach

by VeloNation Press at 11:26 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Triple world champion retires from cycling

Oscar FreireAn effort to get Oscar Freire to delay his retirement has proven unsuccessful, with the Euskaltel-Euskadi team’s advances to the triple world champion not convincing him to change his mind. Freire told VeloNation prior to the world road race championships that he would continue on one condition alone. “I think if I become the world champion, I will show the maillot for one year more,” he said in a long interview. “It’s really nice to wear the world champion’s jersey and to be the only one who is a four time world champion. I think nobody can waste an opportunity like this.

“[It’s] the only reason, but I think it’s difficult to win. Normally, the decision is to finish my career.”

Freire was unable to go with Philippe Gilbert when he attacked on the final ascent of the Cauberg and instead sprinted in tenth. His Katusha team announced yesterday that he had ended his career.

According to Biciciclismo, the Euskaltel-Euskadi manager Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano contacted Freire two months before the worlds, and sought to convince him not to end his career. If the rider was not prepared to race another full season, Gonzalez de Galdeano said that he would take him on as a rider until the Vuelta a Pais Vasco, thus enabling Freire to aim for a fourth Milan-Sanremo.

Gonzalez de Galdeano told his compatriot that he could continue to work in the team as an advisor, much as Erik Zabel does with Katusha and Robbie McEwen does with Orica GreenEdge.

Had the proposal been accepted, Freire’s points would have transferred across to Euskaltel-Euskadi, thus solidifying its prospects for its WorldTour licence. However, after mulling over the offer for a week, he turned it down and also rejected a proposal from another un-named team to sign up without needing to race at all.

It means that the 36 year old has ridden his final race, ending his time as a pro bike rider. He has had a spectacular career – in addition to his hat-trick at the world championships plus Milan-Sanremo, he also won four stages plus the green jersey in the Tour de France, seven stages in the Vuelta, three editions of Brabantse Pijl, the Vattenfall Cyclassics, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Tours.


Check out VeloNation's
recent interview with Oscar Freire here:

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