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Spain names world championship long team

Oscar Freire (Rabobank)

Oscar Freire (Rabobank) (Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

The Spanish national team's coach Jose Luis de Santos has named 12 riders for the country's team for the world championships in Copenhagen. He will send a team designed around three-time world champion Oscar Freire for the sprint-friendly course.

Nine riders will be selected in the coming weeks for the road race from the list, which includes Freire, Carlos Barredo, Juan Manuel Garate and Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank), Imanol Erviti, Pablo Lastras and José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar), Egoi Martinez and Koldo Fernandez de Larrea (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky), Vicente Reynes (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Luis Ángel Maté (Cofidis).

"This is a team designed to help Oscar Freire, who will be our only team leader for the world championship, which does not have many difficulties, since the elevation gain is only 2,000 meters. As always it will be hard to keep things together so Oscar arrives in the best possible condition to that sprint, but at the same time dismissing faster opponents can be dangerous," said De Santos.

Freire is currently recovering from a cold which forced him to abandon the Vuelta a España, but De Santos has been in constant contact with him and is confident he will arrive in Copenhagen ready for the challenge. "We must remember that there are still four weeks for the world championship," he said.

One rider who did not make the cut was Francisco Ventoso of Movistar, who De Santos said has had a long season and he wasn't confident the sprinter would arrive with the right fitness. "Rojas is the man to be with Freire at the finish, although there are other fast sprinters in Koldo or Reynés. The rest of the team will be assigned to work at a certain point in the race."

For the time trial, Jonathan Castroviejo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Jesus Herrada (Movistar) are the likely choices, both are young riders in their first year in the elite ranks.

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