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Tour de France runner-up Oscar Pereiro has expressed his disappointment on being overlooked for selection for the Worlds by Spanish coach Paco Antequera. Pereiro told the Spanish press at the Vuelta that he had been told by Antequera earlier in the race he was guaranteed a place on the squad for Salzburg next week.
"Without speaking to me since then I now find out via the press that I am not on the final list. Since he told me I was in I've been saving myself a little, so instead of losing 40 minutes on a stage I could have lost 10. I don't understand the selector's behaviour, I am very disappointed," said Pereiro, whose comments will probably won't go down too well with his Caisse d'Epargne team and Alejandro Valverde as they suggest he has been riding the Vuelta with his own goals in mind.
Antequera is reported in the Spanish press to have expressed concerns about the relationship between Pereiro and Valverde, who will be one of Spain's leaders in Salzburg. Another disappointed rider is Saunier Duval's Jos Angel Gomez Marchante, who believes he has lost out because he did not assist Valverde in chasing Alexandre Vinokourov on Thursday's stage into Granada.
With Carlos Sastre confirming his place in Salzburg on Saturday, Spain's road team now comprises Alejandro Valverde, Joaquin Rodriguez (Caisse d'Epargne), Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank), Xavier Florencio (Bouygues Telecom), Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel), I¤igo Cuesta (CSC), Francisco Ventoso (Saunier Duval), Luis Perez (Cofidis) and Carlos Sastre (CSC). Last year's TT silver medallist Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne) is the sole selection for the time trial after Luis Leon Sanchez counted himself out of the championships. Three-time world champion Oscar Freire is also missing for the second year in a row due to continuing problems in his pelvic region.
There are no reports of discontent among Italy's pros after selector Franco Ballerini made his choices known. The squad will be led by Paolo Bettini (Quick Step), who is joined by team-mates Filippo Pozzato and Matteo Tosatto, as well as Danilo Di Luca, Luca Paolini (both Liquigas), Alessandro Ballan, Marzio Bruseghin (both Lampre), Andrea Tonti, Rinaldo Nocentini (both Acqua e Sapone), Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Raffaele Ferrara (Androni Giocattoli). Marco Pinotti (Saunier Duval) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) will ride the time trial.
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