Oscar Freire has announced that he will retire from professional cycling at the end of the 2010 season.
The Spaniard made the announcement via Spanish newspaper El Mundo, saying that he will not seek out a new team when his contract with current squad Rabobank expires in 2010.
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The three-time World Champion told the paper that he would love to win the Worlds one more time this year in Mendrisio, Switzerland (September 23-27). He first won the title ten years ago, in 1999. Subsequently he won in 2001 and 2004.
In the interview, Freire also says that sprinting has changed in the past few years with bunch finishes becoming more dangerous and riders being delivered to the line by their teams.
Freire, now 33, is one of a rare breed of Spanish classics specialists, and is equally adept at bunch finishes on tricky stages. His palmares is packed with big wins, ranging from Milan-San Remo and Tour de France stage victories to Ghent-Wevelgem.
By his own high standards, 2009 has been a quiet year so far for Freire with just two wins at the Tour of Romandy. Last year (2008) he won a stage of the Tour de France and came away with the green jersey.
Freire is currently riding in the Vuelta a Espana, which finishes in Madrid on September 20. During his career, Freire has won seven stages of the Vuelta.
Vuelta a Espana 2009: Cycling Weekly’s full coverage