By Monika Prell
Óscar Freire was surprised of his victory of the Vuelta a Andalucía, as he confirmed in an interview with Spanish newspaper AS. "I did not think that I could win the Vuelta, but I still had force, I felt strong and all went better than planned." Initially, the Spaniard had not aimed at the overall classification. "The route was more favourable to me this year, because there was no finish in altitude. But my intention was to win a stage. Now I won two and in addition also the Vuelta. I can't ask for more!"
In the end, the Rabobank sprinter beat Predictor-Lotto's Dario Cioni only by one tiny second. "I'm sorry for Cioni," he commented in sportsmanship. "He and his team worked a lot and they deserved it, but in cycling it's no secret that nothing is decided until the last kilometre."
Although Freire has been suffering from spinal cervical problems for a long time, but said that it did not affect him too much at the moment. "I felt well at every day, excepting in Córdoba. I'm better, but now I'll travel to Amsterdam and hope that they will finish curing me. If the lesions leave me alone, then the victories will come."
The triple world champion has his eyes set on Milano-San Remo next. "I'll ride the Tour, the Vuelta a España and the World championship, that is my big goal this year. I hope that I will be able to compete, not like in the last two years," Freire said, when he had to cancel his participation due to his injuries.