Freire may leave Rabobank, Movistar is possible destination
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Freire may leave Rabobank, Movistar is possible destination

by Conal Andrews at 6:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Spanish team announces two new signings

Oscar FreireAfter nine years with the Dutch Rabobank team, triple world champion Oscar Freire is currently studying his options for next season and looks likely to leave the squad.

The sprint and Classics specialist is negotiating with four ProTour teams, Rabobank included, and of those the Movistar team appears to be a strong contender.

“We would like to race with a Spanish team, as we've always said,” his brother and agent Antonio Freire told Biciciclismo. “(Movistar) is the best Spanish team there, it is a historic team and we have a good relationship with the leaders.”

Freire has brought much to Rabobank, not least his 2004 world title, three Tour de France stages plus the green jersey, as well as three editions of Milan – San Remo, three of Brabantse Pijl, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Tours. He is aiming this year to become the first rider ever to win four editions of the world road race championships; the nature of the Copenhagen course is one which could suit him if he is in top form.

Part of Freire’s preparation for that is the Vuelta a España, where he has notched up five stage wins for the team. He has complained of being sick and has had a tough time in the first two days, but hopes to improve. He passed up the chance to ride the Tour de France, partly to prepare for the worlds, but also because the team’s focus was on backing Robert Gesink for the yellow jersey. Gesink ultimately didn’t perform as expected due to crashes.

Because Freire doesn’t have a Tour stage win to his credit this year, his negotiating position is not as strong as it might otherwise be. His brother feels that Rabobank are not working as hard as other teams to have him as part of the lineup in 2012. “It's an option, but not the best or sports or economically,” he explained.

"We are now negotiating with Rabobank to renew for next year, but still nothing. If Rabobank does not act well, there is the possibility of joining another team. We now have other possibilities, so if not with Rabobank, he will be in another squad.”

Movistar working on 2012 lineup


Movistar would clearly receive a big boost if Freire came on board. That’s yet to be determined, but in the meantime the team has meanwhile announced two signatures.

Spanish Caja Rural riders Javi Moreno and José Herrada have inked two year deals with the squad. The former is 27 years of age and won a stage plus the overall in the Vuelta a Asturias as well as second in the Vuelta a Madrid. He’s currently the best-placed Spaniard in the UCI Europe Tour rankings, and is a past winner of the national under 23 championship.

Herrada is two years younger and is a past stage winner in the Tour de l’Avenir. He also finished second in the Tour of the Pyrenees, and last year won a stage in the Vuelta a Portugal.

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