As the countdown to Milan-San Remo continues, defending champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank) has voiced his opinion to Spanish sports daily MARCA on another opinion altogether – EPO.

The UCI is currently pushing for first-time bans on riders who test positive for EPO and other ‘serious’ substances to be raised from two years to four, but Freire doesn’t feel that is enough.

“If they catch somebody with EPO they should ban them for six years, or even for life,” Freire told MARCA. “That would only be fair.”

Looking at Milan-San Remo, Freire did not take part in any of the sprints in Tirreno-Adriatico, a race he has won overall in the past, because “the first was too dangerous and in the second I was blocked in. There weren’t any more.”

“Last year the media forgot about me because I didn’t do anything in Tirreno and then I won. Us riders, though, know who’s in good shape or not.”

“My form’s good, I’m in virtually the same form as last year, except I’ve got a bit of a cold. Everything else is under control.”

“What I’d like is a fast race, to make sure that everybody’s suffering a bit at the end. That’s the kind of race that suits me.”

In the same interview Freire has said that he prefers racing without a radio, because “it’s better for the spectacle and in terms of safety, it’s very relative.”

“It’s true that if you fall into a ravine then having a radio will help you, but a lot of the time crashes are caused by race radios, because the sports directors pile on the pressure and we all want to be in the same place, on the front on the corners, when we don’t all fit!”

Freire also confirmed that he will continue for another year after 2011, with the 2012 Olympic Games road-race as a big target.

Related links

Milan-San Remo 2011: The Big Preview

Cavendish and Eisel analyse San Remo’s past winners

  • Mark Jones

    Good to hear Freire speaking out against doping again and I’m also impressed with his stance on race radios. If only more would speak up then the sport would be so much better for it.

  • Steve

    Good to hear a rider support a ban on race radios – race radios are the real technical doping these days.

  • Mike Cope

    Excellent ..the fact that most other pros nor team managers etc DO NOT speak out against doping speaks volumes – is the sport really changing ?

  • Tim

    Excellent to hear this from Oscar Freire. Good for him and the others who have said similar in the past. This is exactly what cycling needs – thoughts and feelings by the Pros against doping. It would be significant if they could all get together (male and female) collectively with the same voice.