Freire: rainbow jersey or retirement?

Oscar Freire has once again said that he might retire at the end of this season, unless he wins his fourth world championship, in which case he might stay on for another year.

Freire is one of four riders on the eight-man Spanish team who will have the freedom to ride for himself in Valkenburg.

The Spanish sprinter has previously won the title in 1999, 2001 and 2004.

He has only one win this year for Katusha, but sees his fourth place in Amstel Gold Race in April as a good indicator for Sunday's race, which will cover some of the same roads. “During the last Amstel Gold Race, I showed that I can get a good result, since the routes overlap in both races," he told the Russian website

“The Spanish team arrives in good shape and is a favourite for the road race this year. Many of us are ready to win, we have a lot of options in regards to strategy and it all depends on how you develop the race for each of us and the whole team,” he said.

Freire has in the past repeatedly announced his retirement, only to change his mind. Last year, he also hinted that he would retire if he did not win the world title.  He did not win it but nevertheless signed with Katusha for the 2012 season.

"I always said that I can change my mind about retirement for if I win the world championships for the fourth time. Each Worlds victory was good in its own way, and each of them was special.”

But, he added, “Our sport is one of the most complex, and sometimes it is better to know when to end a run and call time.”

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