Confusion over Freire’s Giro chances, final decision today
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Confusion over Freire’s Giro chances, final decision today

by Conal Andrews at 6:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia

Milan San Remo victor and triple world champion Oscar Freire has been struggling with respiratory issues since the Amstel Gold Race and will make a final decision today about his participation in this year’s Giro d’Italia. On paper at least, he would be one of the fastest sprinters in the peloton and has a chance to take at least one stage win, and so his Rabobank team is doing all it can to keep him in the race.

Italian media reports suggested that he had already thrown in the towel, but this is not yet the case. “We thought it was an allergy, but didn’t get any results from medication,” he said, according to Tuttobici. “Then we performed other tests that showed the presence of sinusitis. Now I have to stop to treat it, because I cannot breathe.”

However that quote is premature, according to Biciciclismo. “It is difficult, but we will see,” said his manger and brother Antonio Freire. “We have to wait until the afternoon. His participation will depend on what happens after a medical examination.”

Freire has twice had his nasal septum cleaned by doctors, firstly on April 19th and again on May third. However the situation has not settled down and it is very much uncertain as to whether or not he will be able to make his Giro debut.

If he does have to withdraw, his place on the Rabobank team will be taken by Stefan Kruiswijk.

Freire has shown a return to form this season, galloping to success in Milan-Sanremo and also winning two stages of the Vuelta a Andalucia plus the Trofeo Cala Millor in Majorca. He was second on three stages of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and finished a solid 41st overall, but his sinus problems saw him place 14th in the Amstel Gold Race and only 89th in Flèche Wallonne.

He has postponed plans of retirement and will compete until the end of 2011. This gives him two more chances to win the world road race championship, and what would be a record fourth Elite title.


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