Freire to miss Worlds

Oscar Freire has pretty much written off defending his world title and the rest of this season becau

Oscar Freire has pretty much written off defending his world title and the rest of this season becau

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Oscar Freire has admitted that the pelvic bone injury that has plagued him since the spring is now almost certain to prevent him defending his world road title on home ground in Madrid on September 25. "I still can't train and it will be impossible for me to be in Madrid," Freire told the Spanish press.

In June, Freire had an operation intended to remove a cyst on his ischium bone at the rear of his pelvis. The operation initially appeared to be a success and Freire has been able to return to normal life without any problem. However, he is still suffering extreme discomfort when he sits in the saddle.

"The problem is in the interior of the bone," said Freire, who is heading to Amsterdam today for a further examination by his Rabobank team's doctors. "It's a very delicate area with lots of nerve endings and tendons. When I put my weight on the saddle, it is extremely uncomfortable."

Freire acknowledged that he is very disappointed to almost certainly miss the chance to race in Madrid. "It was a great opportunity for me. I'm sure that a lot of people would have come to see me competing at home, and it upsets me to have missed out," he said.

Freire, who has previous experience of long periods out due to injury, would not set a definite date for his return, but expects to be out of racing until next season. He also refused to accept that he had been affected by the so-called 'curse of the rainbow jersey', which often tends to affect world champions during the season after their Worlds victory.

- Davitamon-Lotto's Koos Moerenhout has followed team-mate Axel Merckx's example and signed for the Phonak team. The 30-year-old Dutchman has signed a one-year contract that should now allow him to race the northern Classics, which he was not able to with Davitamon this year.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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