Oscar Freire: "The Tour is the most boring race of the year."
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Oscar Freire: "The Tour is the most boring race of the year."

by Jered Gruber at 4:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Former Green Jersey winner to miss Tour de France, as Rabobank focuses solely on Gesink

Following the announcement yesterday that Garmin-Cervelo's Heinrich Haussler would not take part in this July's Tour de France, another top name in the sport of cycling followed today with the same news. The winner of three Tour de France stages and a Green Jersey, Oscar Freire, will not take part in this year's Grand Boucle.

"I will not race the Tour," says the 35 year old in an interview with NUsport. "It is a decision by the team, because they want to put everything on Robert Gesink. I understand that the team wants to put everything on the general classification - other teams do that as well."

While the ultimate decision to not take part in the Tour de France appears to have rested with Freire's Rabobank team, it's clear that the Spaniard harbors no love for the three week adventure around France, preferring instead to give a nod to Vlaanderens Mooiste.

"The Tour is the most boring race of the year. In the flat stages, you have a breakaway, then a sprint. In the mountain stages, the same riders are at the front every time. The Tour of Flanders: that is a real race."

The recently relegated winner of a stage of the Basque Country feels so negatively toward the Tour and so strongly for the Classics that he proposes a change: a move from the Spring Classics to the Summer Classics.

"It would benefit the sport if the Classics were raced in the summer. The Tour gets a lot of attention, because nothing else happens in the summer."

The winner of two stages of the Ruta del Sol this season will likely take part in some minor races in July, as he begins his build-up to a race that could be perfect for his skillset, this fall's World Championships. A win in Copenhagen would be the fourth of his career.

Up next for Freire is another race he has won three times: the Brabantse Pijl. Freire won the midweek classic three years in a row from 2005 to 2007. 

 

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