Oscar Freire, three times world champion, confirmed that this will be his last season after moving from Rabobank to Katusha team. The move allows Freire to extend his career one season and compete in the London Olympics.
“This time it will be my last professional season. I thought about quitting in 2011, but eventually changed my mind, simply because 2012 is an Olympic year and I hope to shine in London,” he told the French magazine Velochrono.
Freire, 35, said he did not want to end his career after a lackluster season.
“My 2011 campaign did not give me much joy, so I want to finish my career with good feelings. I have not analyzed the circuit (the London Olympics), but I heard that suits me, although it is not easy to control the race,” he said, referring to the route of 250 kilometers in the competing teams of five members.
In addition to the Games, Freire plans to try for a fourth victory in the Milan-San Remo classic and return to the Tour de France, which he did not ride in 2011.
“I’m also thinking especially about races like the Tour of Flanders or the Amstel Gold Race. Now, if Philippe Gilbert is as strong as last year, little can be done,” he acknowledged.
Freire will start the season at the Down Under in Australia, and then return to Europe to prepare for the Milan-San Remo. He will also participate in the Ruta del Sol, the Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico. Accustomed to debuting the Tour of Mallorca, Freire is competing in Australia at the request of the Katusha team.