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Freire retires attacking division within Spanish team

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Oscar Freire (Spain) was emotional before the race

Oscar Freire (Spain) was emotional before the race
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Oscar Freire (Spain) waves to the crowd in what would be his last ever race

Oscar Freire (Spain) waves to the crowd in what would be his last ever race
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Oscar Freire (Katusha), awarded most combative at the Grand Prix de Wallonie, was part of a late race break which was caught in the closing kilometres.

Oscar Freire (Katusha), awarded most combative at the Grand Prix de Wallonie, was part of a late race break which was caught in the closing kilometres.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)

If the Belgians were more than content with today’s Worlds victory for Philippe Gilbert, another strong squad, the Spanish, once more revealed the divisions that have cost them medals in the past.

Former triple World Champion Oscar Freire pulled down the curtain on his career – he would only have continued racing had he won - with a verbal attack on teammate Alejandro Valverde for failing to wait for him on the Cauberg, as had been previously agreed.

“None of my teammates were with me then,” Freire, who took tenth, said outside the Spanish team bus. “What was agreed was to ride for me in the last lap. We haven’t raced well.”

“We lacked clear ideas, we needed to pull back the attacks. We’d said that if anybody attacked it didn’t matter they had to be with me on the last climb so we could bring it back.”

“When Gilbert went, some teammates couldn’t make it, others didn’t want to. Valverde should have waited for me, he was going well, but he was alone.”

“Samuel [Sanchez, who worked in the final lap before getting dropped] was different, he wanted to work for me but couldn’t make it.”

“If I hadn’t been able to ride well, then that would have been understandable and it would have been all my fault, but as it was Valverde who should have been with me. So I’m disappointed. I could have won.”