Freire retires attacking division within Spanish team

Slates Valverde for not waiting on Cauberg

If the Belgians were more than content with today’s Worlds victory for Philippe Gilbert, another strong squad, the Spanish, once more revealed the divisions that have cost them medals in the past.

Former triple World Champion Oscar Freire pulled down the curtain on his career – he would only have continued racing had he won - with a verbal attack on teammate Alejandro Valverde for failing to wait for him on the Cauberg, as had been previously agreed.

“None of my teammates were with me then,” Freire, who took tenth, said outside the Spanish team bus. “What was agreed was to ride for me in the last lap. We haven’t raced well.”

“We lacked clear ideas, we needed to pull back the attacks. We’d said that if anybody attacked it didn’t matter they had to be with me on the last climb so we could bring it back.”

“When Gilbert went, some teammates couldn’t make it, others didn’t want to. Valverde should have waited for me, he was going well, but he was alone.”

“I think I did what I should have,” Freire - who sported two large cuts in his arm after he was knocked off his bike during the race but managed to remount - said, “but it really makes you angry, and what’s even worse is when something is decided and then it isn’t respected.”

“Samuel [Sanchez, who worked in the final lap before getting dropped] was different, he wanted to work for me but couldn’t make it.”

“If I hadn’t been able to ride well, then that would have been understandable and it would have been all my fault, but as it was Valverde who should have been with me. So I’m disappointed. I could have won.”


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