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Tour de France Arrives in Paris
Oscar Freire of Spain wears the green jersey for top sprinter after the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 27, 2008. Carlos Sastre of Spain, previously a five-time top-ten finisher of the race, won the overall title for the first time. (UPI Photo/ David Silpa)
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Óscar Freire Gómez (Born February 15, 1976 in Torrelavega, Cantabria) is a Spanish professional road bicycle racer for the UCI ProTeam Rabobank. Freire is considered one of the top sprinters in road bicycle racing, having won the World Cycling Championship on a record-equalling three occasions, along with Alfredo Binda, Rik Van Steenbergen and Eddy Merckx, and the cycling monument Milan-Sanremo on two occasions.

Freire became professional in 1998 at the Vitalicio Seguros team. Through the 1998 season Freire only won one race, a stage in the Vuelta a Castilla y León, and achieved eleventh place in the Paris-Tours UCI Road World Cup race. In 1999, Freire went the entire season without a major victory until the World Championships in October. Although Freire went to the World Championships in Verona seemingly only to make up the numbers of the Spanish team, he went on to take an unexpected victory. A photograph taken shortly after his win, in which he is calling his grandmother (who had no television) to tell her he had won, became famous. He spent the prize money on an elevator for his grandmother's apartment.

Freire is a sprinter who, unlike many other sprinters, does not need much help from his team mates to get into good position for a win. Despite his diminutive stature, Freire is one of the most feared sprinters in the peloton. He usually draws his own plan in which he hopes the element of surprise gives him the victory. Freire sometimes gets criticized for his training ethic, since he usually rides only half the training miles in comparison with other cyclists.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Oscar Freire."
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