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Freire: World title or retirement

Oscar Freire (Rabobank) speaks to the press before the start.

Oscar Freire (Rabobank) speaks to the press before the start. (Image credit: Susi Goetze for

Three time World Champion Oscar Freire will retire at the end of this season if he does not win the road race at  the Copenhagen World Championships. The Rabobank rider suffers from consistently worsening respiratory problems.

His contract with Rabobank expires the end of this season, and he is rumoured to have been looking at other teams as well. “The contract negotiations for next year have been stopped by Oscar himself,” sport director Erik Breukink told De Telegraaf. “After the world championships, he wants to see if there will be a sequel to his career.”

The 35-year-old has undergone sinus and nasal surgery the last two years. He was unable to ride the Tour de France and had to abandon the Vuelta a Espana on the eighth stage. His only individual wins this year were two stages at the Vuelta a Andalucia.

He has been named captain of the Spanish elite men's road national team for the world championships on Sunday, September 26. He is aiming to repeat his titles from 1999, 2001, and 2004.