Freire poised to go for his third Milan-Sanremo
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Freire poised to go for his third Milan-Sanremo

by Neil Browne at 1:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Milan-Sanremo

Oscar FreireSpaniard Oscar Freire is set to lead his Rabobank team in this year's Milan-Sanremo. He has won La Primavera twice before, and was the first Spaniard to take victory on the via Roma. His 2004 triumph over German rider Erik Zabel by a scant three millimeters was the most dramatic. Freire put in a last moment bike lunge when Zabel prematurely threw his arms up in victory - it would have been the German's fifth Sanremo win. In 2007 he came off the wheel of Italian Alessandro Petacchi and overpowered the Italian in the dash for the line.

Last season was lackluster for Freire, with stage two of the Tour de Romandie his only success. This year the triple World Champion has already had a strong early season campaign, taking victory in stage two of the Mallorca Challenge as well winning stages two and three of the Vuelta a Andalucía. All his wins were against formidable opponents that included André Greipel, Alessandro Petacchi and last year's Milan-Sanremo winner, Mark Cavendish.

Rabobank will bring a strong team to support Freire's bid to win the race for a third time. Dutchman Lars Boom is coming off a prologue win at Paris-Nice, where he beat Astana's Alberto Contador and held onto the yellow leader's jersey for three days. Sebastian Langeveld hasn't shown the form he had last spring, but if the young Dutchman is feeling good, he will be a big asset to the squad.

Belgian Nick Nuyens is a rider with a proven past in the Classics. In 2008 he was second at Het Volk (now Het Nieuwsblad) as well as the Tour of Flanders, and last year he won the GP de Wallonie for a third time. In this year's edition of Het Nieuwsblad Nuyens was in the decisive move of the race, but his third flat of the day came at a critical time and took him out of contention.

This year the 34-year-old managed to avoid bad luck this year, and will hit the race in peak form as a solid contender. In an interesting twist, he will do so with a blast from the past, as the now retired Zabel is the sprinting coach for Freire's sprint rival Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia).

Rabobank for 2010 Milan-Sanremo:
Lars Boom (NED)
Oscar Freire (ESP)
Sebastian Langeveld (NED)
Paul Martens (GER)
Tom Leezer (NED)
Nick Nuyens (BEL)
Bram Tankink (NED)
Maarten Tjallingii (NED)

Sports Director:
Erik Dekker


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