Freire falters in Murcia

Rabobank's Oscar Freire couldn't contest yesterday's sprint finish in Murcia after breathing difficulties forced the veteran fast man into 120th place, over 10 minutes behind stage winner Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam).

"It was a bad day for me," Freire told Europa Press after the finish. "I was not breathing well and I realised that it wasn't happening for me - unfortunately today was a stage for me.

"It was clear that I noticed straight away that I didn't feel good; it seemed that the others were faster than I," he added.

The 34-year-old has experienced issues with his sinuses over the past two years, the latest being at the end of July when he required surgery to remove polyps from his sinuses. It kept him out of racing for several weeks, although he was able to resume training soon after the procedure.

While he will fight on another day at the Vuelta for stage honours, Freire is also thinking about the effect of yesterday's episode on his chances at the world championships during the first week of October.

"I must do well in this Vuelta to reach the world championships in good condition," continued Freire, although he added that he's not too concerned about what will happen on October 3. "Right now I don't care too much; I would worry if there were two weeks remaining [before Worlds], but there is one month - then I'm sure I'll be better."

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