Top Spanish sprinter Oscar Freire will not race this year’s Tour de France as his Dutch team Rabobank focus on the yellow jersey ambitions of all-rounder Robert Gesink, according to a report Tuesday. Freire is a former three-time world road race champion who won the Tour de France green jersey for the race’s points competition in 2008. However Sporza.be website quoted Freire as saying he would not race this year’s edition as Rabobank put all their resources into Gesink, who is considered an outside bet for the race’s yellow jersey.
“I won’t be going to the Tour,” Freire told the Dutch newspaper NUsport, according to Sporza. “It’s a team decision. They want to put everything into Gesink and the yellow jersey. That’s normal, other teams do that.”
Freire’s absence could boost the green jersey hopes of Britain’s Mark Cavendish, especially as the rules have been tweaked by Tour organizers this year to favor the riders who dominate the finish line sprints. Cavendish has won a record 15 stages from the race in the past three years, but has so far missed out on winning the green jersey – which, after stage victories, is considered the sprinters’ top prize. Freire meanwhile didn’t seem too disappointed with the decision.
“The Tour is the most boring race of the year,” he added. “On the flat stages you have a breakaway, then a sprint. In the mountain stages it is always the same riders.”