Rabobank will look to Oscar Freire to lead the team at Milan-San Remo on Saturday, although there are question marks over his health. The Spaniard, who already has three wins this season, and has won San Remo twice, has also said he hopes to stay with the Dutch team until the end of his career.
“Freire is our main spearhead, if he is fit,” said directeur sportif Erik Dekker. The three-time World Champion was not feeling well going into Tirreno-Adriatico, and was not involved in any of the sprint finishes.
The Spaniard, who won Milan – San Remo in 2004 and 2007, has begun his season in strong form, winning the Trofeo Cala Millor, and two consecutive stages in the Vuelta a Andalucia.
Freire will be supported by Maarten Tjallingii, Lars Boom, Sebastian Langeveld, Nick Nuyens, Bram Tankink, Tom Leezer and Paul Martens. “A strong team. Men who know how to fight,” according to Dekker.
Maarten Tjallingii, recently suffered a serious crash in Tirreno-Adriatico but has fully recovered. He rode Nokere Koerse on Wednesday with no problems.
"Obviously, we can use a man like Maarten in Milan - San Remo,” Dekker said. “Last year he was our man in the escape, and he was recently in good form. But of course it is a small miracle. I have spoken with people who saw him crash, and they said he wouldn't have a chance this week. But he's obviously as hard as nails."
Freire hopes to end career with Dutch team
Freire indicated that he does not plan to retire at the end of this season, but would like to keep on riding through 2011. "Preferably with Rabobank,” he told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
"Here everybody knows what I can do I know their value. I hope they will want to continue with me and that give me a timely indication. I have earned that respect in the past years."