Triple world champ Freire postpones retirement to compete in fourth Olympic Games
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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Triple world champ Freire postpones retirement to compete in fourth Olympic Games

by Conal Andrews at 8:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships, Olympics
Spaniard’s motivation has returned after good 2010 season

Oscar FreireHis determination restored after a season with big victories in Milano-Sanremo and Paris-Tours, the triple world road race champion Oscar Freire has decided to remain in cycling until ‘at least’ the London Olympics.

The 34 year old Spaniard knows that the course in London could suit his characteristics, and so too the route of this year’s worlds in Copenhagen. He would make history if he won a record fourth world title, and has this plus the Olympic target to spur him onwards.

He has done three Olympic Games this far – Sydney, Athens and Beijing – and knows the value of what it would be like to win a gold medal. Freire’s won three world titles and with the Olympics coming around every four years, he appreciates how much more rare it is to triumph there.

However even taking part is something special to him. "We are practicing cycling. More or less, you always feel that you are in the cycling environment when you go to any competition and yet, when you're in the Olympics, meeting other athletes is something that must be experienced to really understand it," he said, according to Marca. He added that it is encouraging for athletes as the experience is “totally different.”

Last year was a lean one for Freire and he admitted that he was very much thinking of calling it quits after 2009. However the season just past was much better, and results such as his wins in Milano-Sanremo, Paris-Tours, two stage wins in both the Vuelta a Andalucia and the Vuelta al Pais Vasco plus victory in the Trofeo Calla Millor have psyched him again.

“I took two important victories in different Classics (Milan-San Remo and Paris-Tours) and, above all, I ended up wanting to continue,” he stated, confirming that he had been previously 100% set on retirement.

Freire indicated that he is unlikely to ride the Tour de France this season in order to follow the path he prepares for the worlds. He will also miss the Giro, making the Vuelta a España his likely only Grand Tour in 2011. That race has been good for him in the past, and he’ll be very much hoping to hone his form on the Spanish roads before taking top honours in Copenhagen.


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