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Question mark over Freire's World's

Oscar Freire's chance to take a record-breaking fourth Elite World Championship title on home soil this year may be in doubt due to the injury problems he suffered this season. The World's supremo had an operation to remove a cyst in mid-June and, according to Spanish sports daily AS, complications from that mean that he is highly unlikely to compete in the Vuelta a España, despite being named as part of Rabobank's line up. Freire has been unable to log up the sort of training hours needed to prepare for a Grand Tour. He is instead considering doing some of the Italian preparation races instead, but says he may not be in ideal shape.

Fans of the Rabobank rider can however take some consolation from his past. When troubled by a lingering back injury, Freire was nevertheless able to reach top form very quickly. They'll be hoping that he can do the same this time round.

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