By Monika Prell
The Spanish national trainer Francisco Antequera announced on the web page of the Spanish Cycling Federation RFEC that currently only five riders are sure for the World Championships: The triple World Champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank), along with his team-mate Juan Antonio Flecha. Carlos Sastre (CSC) and Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) will also be there. A question mark is still on Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne). For the Spanish federation there is no doubt he will be racing, however the UCI is trying to prevent this from happening.
Antequera, who published a list of pre-selected riders in August, announced that there is a new aspirant for Stuttgart: Carlos Barredo (Quick.Step-Innergetic). "He is a rider that is very good in one day races and in the Vuelta he is showing that he has a great in-competition form", justified Antequera his decision. Barredo will undergo the specific antidoping control of the RFEC that every rider, who will participate in the World Championships, has to pass.
On the other hand, Antequera mourns the abandon of Oscar Pereiro in the Vuelta. "I really have no reference of him. I would have liked to see him better; at the moment, I have some doubts to nominate him."
According to todociclismo, the Spanish selector wants "riders who are good, riders who are keen on riding. I have some very positive references from riders who are not in the Vuelta, like [Juan Antonio] Flecha, [Joaquím] 'Purito' Rodríguez or Iván Gutiérrez, who could also compete in the road race. I always thought that he will focus on the time trial, but after his victory of the Eneco Tour and as I see that he goes well, I could perhaps let him compete the road race, as he is a rider who is also good in the classics."
But on the other hand, Antequera still lacks "a rider who could be with Freire in the final. Normally I would count on [Xavier] Florencio, but I still did not see him excellent in the Vuelta, I don't have any reference of his condition. I hope that he can show it to me in the coming days."
And the Spanish selector needs still a second rider for the time trial. "The time trial of Zaragoza did not reveal it, as the three pre-selected riders, Santos [González], Luis León [Sánchez] and [Iker] Camaño, showed more or less the same performance, not quite the level I expect for a time trial of the World Championships," sighed Antequera.
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