Freire Wins His Third Milan-San Remo
The two major races in which Oscar Freire (Rabobank) has experienced the most success are Milan-San Romo and the World Road Race Championship. Read our complete race report.
The two major races in which Oscar Freire (Rabobank) has experienced the most success are Milano-San Romo and the World Road Race Championship. Read our complete race report.
The two major races in which Oscar Freire (Rabobank) has experienced the most success are Milan-San Remo and the World Road Race Championship. Today, the Spanish veteran, who intends to retire at season's end, won Milan-San Remo for the third time. Freire took a 25-man sprint to win the 298-km race in 6:57:28. Tom Boonen (Quick Step) outsprinted Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) for second.
The hostilities started early. With only three km ridden, Fabrice Piemontesi (Androni Giocatolli), Aristide Ratti (Camiooro NGC), and Diego Caccia (ISD-Neri) sallied off of the front. The peloton made no move to stop the trio, which ran up a 23-minute lead before Quick Step began to chase.
The pursuit was leisurely, and the escapees led the field by 16:20 on the ascent of the Passo del Turchino. A crash split the field, and defending champion Matt Cavendish (Columbia), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky), and Petacchi were caught up in it. With 95 km left, the front group caught the break of the day, but the second group needed 30 more km to catch the lead group.
With 62 km left, Maxime Bouet (Ag2r) attacked. Seventeen km later, the Frenchman led a chase group consisting of Maxime Monfort (Columbia), Laurent Beuret (Camiooro NGC), Alan Perez Lezaun (Euskaltel), Dmytro Grabovskyy (ISD-Neri), Manuele Mori (Lampre), Roy Sentjens (Milram), and Frank Hoj (Saxo Bank) by 0:45. The chase group imploded, but Grabrovskyy caught and passed Bouet. With 32 km left, as the race approached the Cipressa, the day's penultimate climb, the Ukrainian led the field.
Lampre led the pursuit up the Cipressa. The searing pace reduced the lead group to 30 riders, although a few regained contact on the descent. Yoann Offredo (Francaise des Jeux) attacked and forged an 18-second lead. Michael Rogers (Columbia) set out after him but was reeled in.
On the Poggio, the day's final climb, Offredo was reeled in. One km later, Rogers had another dig. He was reeled in, but he single filed the lead group. Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) attacked, and Filippo Pozzato (Katusha), the 2006 Milan-San Remo winner, joined him. With six km left, Pozzato charged into the lead.
Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) attacked, and four other riders joined him. The quintet was reeled in, but with 2.6 km left, Nibali tried again. Pozzato countered and took the lead. Liquigas led the chase. Freire took up station at the end of the Italian squad's paceline. With 200 m left, the Rabobank man burst into the lead for the win.
Freire has started his final season with a bang. Will we see more fireworks from him? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!