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Spanish TT champion Luis Leon Sanchez takes a drink
Alberto Contador not amongst 21 riders
Alberto Contador will again miss the world championships but Spanish national coach Jose Luis de Santos has named a long-list of 21 other riders who are all under consideration for the team.
Luis Leon Sanchez of Caisse d'Epargne, the current Spanish national time trial champion, has been named for the time trial, with the second rider to be selected after the Vuelta a Espana.
Oscar Freire (Rabobank) and one other unnamed rider are set to lead the team for the Elite men's road race on October 3, “but we will wait until the end of the Vuelta, as you can always come to some harm,” de Santos said on the Spanish Cycling Federation website. He noted, however, that Freire is still suffering from the nose and sinus problems which have plagued him for two years. “If he is not all right, he will be the first to say so.”
Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez is not riding the Vuelta, but is still in the running for the national team. “He has a different season and after the Tour, could not hold his form for the Vuelta,” de Santos said. “He's doing another race calendar, and if he is well, I will take him.”
Three-time Tour de France winner Contador has virtually ended his season after the Tour and any possibility of him riding the worlds championships ended when he injured his knee in a recent training accident. De Santos said that he spoke with Contador on the phone. “He told me that he would rather not extend his season, but would prefer to prepare for next year."
Also missing form the team is Alejandro Valverde, who is serving a doping suspension. “We are going to miss him, not only in the race, but in all ways, as he creates a good atmosphere,” de Santos claimed.
Long list for Spain's world championship team:
Javier Moreno (Andalucía-Cajasur), Imanol Erviti, Iván Gutiérrez, Pablo Lastras, Luis Pasamontes, Rubén Plaza, José Joaquín Rojas and Luis León Sánchez (Caisse D'eEargne), Francisco José Ventoso (Carmioro NGC), Xavier Tondo (Cervelo Test Team), Koldo Fernández de Larrea, Egoi Martínez and Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Carlos Barredo (Quick Step), Oscar Freire and Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank), Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky), Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha), Haimar Zubeldia (Radioshack), Gustavo Cesar Veloso and David García (Xacobeo Galicia).