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Oscar Freire (Katusha) is the picture of calm at the start.
Three-time winner now turns to Dwars door Vlaanderen
Even though he finished seventh last Saturday in Milan-San Remo, Oscar Freire (Katusha) wasn't disappointed not to have made the podium. One could argue that the three-time winner of the event would have wanted a better result in what may well have been the last 'Classicissima' he rode in his career, but Freire did not have any regrets about his racing on the day.
"I did the best I could," the Spaniard told Biciciclismo after the race. "I couldn't do more because, unfortunately, my legs did not respond as I had hoped. So, when the final escape formed, I realized that it was impossible to take their wheel."
The eventual winner Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge), Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) and their motor-pacer Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack) took off towards the end of the Poggio climb, and while the remaining riders and sprinters were well-organised in the chase, the trio held off a narrow margin of a few meters until the very end.
"In any case, I was with the chase group as I thought we'd sprint in the finish. So even if I had felt in my best shape, I wouldn't have gone with Nibali, Cancellara and Gerrans. Our strategy was perfect, we only came across an incredible Cancellara who, in the finale, basically enabled Gerrans to win.
"This may have been my last Milan-San Remo, but I'm not disappointed. I don't have any regrets in my career, like I said before - I couldn't have given more of myself," added the triple World Champion.
Freire, who was able to console himself with the victory of one of the first criteriums in the season, the Ronde d'Aix en Provence on Sunday, will now turn to the Belgian half-Classics, starting with Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday.