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Worlds Country Preview: Spain
By Manny Samaniego
Date: 10/7/2002
Worlds Country Preview: Spain
As it was the case last year, the entire Spanish National squad will work for one man and one man only, current World Champion, Oscar Freire. Francisco Antequera, the national selector, has put together yet again, a team composed of support riders that on paper has the firepower required to battle the Italians and Germans, who will also support two of the fastest sprinters in the world. Each member of the team took part in the Vuelta a España, and even though some of them didn't finish the entire race, Antequera is known for developing a race plan where each member of the team has a role to play and where personal glory is put aside. This year is no exception, and Spain looks good to have another rainbow jersey in their closet.

Freire's health problems are well documented and the latest chapter is an annoying knee problem that has kept him from training at 100%. But he's regarded as one who doesn't need much preparation to be at his best, and he has two World Championships to prove this theory.

As for the time trials, Spain will be counting on their National Time Trial Champion, Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano and Vuelta's winner, Aitor Gonzalez. Both proven against the clock, which should increase their chances for a podium spot.

Spanish National Team:


Oscar Freire (Mapei Quick Step)

Pedro Horrillo (Mapei Quick Step)

Igor Astarloa (Saeco)

Luis Pérez (Coast)

Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel Euskadi)

Jose Vicente García Acosta (

Pablo Lastras (

Quique Gutiérrez (Kelme Costa Blanca)

Toni Tauler (Kelme Costa Blanca)

Oscar Sevilla (Kelme Costa Blanca)

Joseba Beloki (ONCE-Eroski)

Rafael Díaz Justo (ONCE-Eroski)

Mikel Pradera (ONCE-Eroski)

Time Trial

Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE-Eroski)

Aitor Gonzalez (Kelme Costa Blanca)

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