By Shane Stokes in Einsiedeln
Triple World Champion Oscar Freire is hoping to take a stage win on either today’s third leg or tomorrow’s fourth day of the Tour de Suisse. The fast finishing Spaniard came back from a break from racing to take third on the first stage, and then with first place gone yesterday, he didn’t dispute the sprint for second. But he thinks the parcours in the next two stages will suit him well.
"Today is maybe not the best stage for me but I think that tomorrow [Monday] and the day after are very nice. They are a bit harder," he told Cyclingnews before yesterday’s start in Bremgarten. "I will see how I can do then because after that it is impossible - there are very big climbs from Wednesday onwards and we have other riders for those stages.
"The first stage was close but third position is not enough. In cycling, the only important thing is to win, so I am going to try to do that."
Freire is back to full health this year after a very troublesome cyst ruined his 2005 season. He is over that problem but says that it takes time to get back to full racing sharpness after missing time off the bike.
"I had a lot of problems last year. I stopped for almost seven months and then to start again is not easy. It is okay to keep some basic condition, but the problem is getting up to the level needed to win stages. The difference is not too big, but it is very difficult to get to that condition after a long break.
"I raced up to the Classics this year and then took a rest. Now I have the rest of the season ahead. I hope to remain in good condition and good health, to do the Tour de France, all the classics and then the world championships. I don’t know what the course is like yet [for the worlds]. But I think the parcours is a nice race for me," he added.