Freire still aiming for 4th world title

MURCIA, Spain -- Three-time cycling world champion Oscar Freire will retire after his contract with Rabobank expires in 2010.

Freire says in Wednesday's El Mundo newspaper that "next year I will retire. My contract will be finished and the best thing would to be not to continue. ... I've sacrificed myself for many campaigns and everything has its limit."

The 33-year-old Freire will go for a record fourth world title this month in Mendrisio, Switzerland. He won in 1999, 2001 and 2004. Only Eddy Merckx, Alfredo Binda and Rik Van Steenbergen have won three times.

The Spanish sprint specialist said "that would be a perfect way to round off my career."

During the Tour de France in July, he was shot in the leg by what his team thought was an air rifle, but he finished the stage.