Freire and Modolo preview world championship road course in Copenhagen
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Monday, August 08, 2011

Freire and Modolo preview world championship road course in Copenhagen

by Kyle Moore at 7:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Tour of Denmark provides a taste of the circuit

Oscar FreireOscar Freire (Rabobank) and Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF Inox) were both a part of the final stage of the Tour of Denmark, and the sprinters got a sample of the 14-kilometer circuit that will feature in the elite men’s road race at next month’s World Championships.

The road course in Copenhagen starts with a 28-kilometer stretch, before entering a 14-kilometer circuit in the northern part of the city. Riders will cover the circuit 17 times on the way to the finish, which features a climb up Geels Hill in the closing meters.

Freire, who finished 16th overall in the Tour of Denmark, enjoyed his time in Copenhagen. The Spaniard expressed mixed feelings about the Worlds course. “It was a nice race because a lot of people were watching the race,” Freire replied about his time in the week-long tour, won by Team Sky’s Simon Gerrans.

Speaking last Sunday, Freire said, “We did the World Championships circuit. It is not really complicated – only the final is complicated. But if it is raining or windy, I think it will be a really hard race.”

Modolo, the 24-year-old Italian, won two stages in Denmark. After finishing second on the final stage, he offered his assessment of the circuit. “I do not think that a pure sprinter will win the Worlds,” he admitted to La Gazzetta. “We covered a full lap of the circuit and my impression is that it will be somewhat selective.”

The youthful Modolo burst onto the scene in the spring of 2010, when he finished fourth in his debut Milan-Sanremo. He is looking to make his first Italian national team. Should he be chosen by his Italian managers, he speculated on possible contenders inside and outside his team.

“[Daniele] Bennati (Leopard-Trek) is regaining form after his injury and certainly has the credentials to compete. And I see Freire riding well these days. In any case it will not be easy to take it in a sprint.”

“The course could also be suited for a coup, and maybe to [Philippe] Gilbert. Our tactic? That will be up to our coach, Paolo Bettini.”

For Freire, the three-time world champion, selection to the Spanish national team seems almost assured. Such is not the case for Modolo and his Italian squad. But in his second pro season, he has finally opened his account in a big way. Five wins since the Fourth of July have given him high hopes.

“Five wins in a month is a good sign, but I know that may not be enough,” he concluded. “I need to do more to deserve a spot, and I’m training for that.”

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