Oscar Freire removed from line-up following Tour crash
Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) won the Spanish national road race title a little over one week before the Tour de France kicked off in Liège. His win signified his form was on track but he was nonetheless not part of his team’s ambitions for the 2012 race and was left off the nine-man roster.
Ventoso was left off the Tour roster and was also informed that he would not be riding the Olympic road race for his country. Somewhat lucky for Ventoso, the hardship of another's injuries means he gets the chance to represent Spain as part of the five-man team. Oscar Freire’s participation was put immediately in doubt falling his crash and abandonment and the Spanish Cycling Federation has put Ventoso’s name forward as the replacement.
"Freire is irreplaceable because he has been the favourite choice and was our reference for London. Ventoso is a rider who we had in mind from the beginning, but I had to leave out initially due to the five-rider limitation," said Jose Luis Santos.
Ventoso has enjoyed three wins already this season, including the crash-marred stage nine of the Giro d’Italia. He is currently racing the demanding Tour of Poland where he is yet to have the opportunity for a sprint.
"Ventoso is a great professional, a rider with experience in this type of racing with good top-end speed. He’s also shown his form is ready, as demonstrated by winning the Championship of Spain," said Santos.
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