Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Oft-injured Óscar Freire will be a surprise starter at this weekend’s Amstel Gold Race, something that will make title sponsor Rabobank happy.
The three-time world champion is still on the comeback trail from his crash at February’s Tour of California that left him with two broken ribs and kept him out of Milan-San Remo.
Freire made it through the demanding Vuelta al País Vasco last week and Rabobank team officials confirmed Tuesday that Freire will ride at Amstel.
“He is good enough to play a support role for the team during the race,” said Rabobank sport director Erik Breukink. “But I don’t see a leading part for him in the race.”
The Dutch team had listed Freire as a replacement rider for Sunday’s big race, but Freire’s performance in Spain last week proved he’s up to the task for the hilly, 258km course.
Freire has never won Amstel Gold Race, but the team will be riding to protect Nick Nuyens and Robert Gesink as their team leaders.
The squad is scheduled to make a course preview on Wednesday.