Fabian Cancellara still to start Olympic time trial despite road race crash
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Fabian Cancellara still to start Olympic time trial despite road race crash

by Ben Atkins at 10:03 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics, Injury
 
Nothing broken for defending champion but final decision still not made after badly bruising shoulder

fabian cancellaraSwitzerland’s Fabian Cancellara still intends to defend his Olympic time trial crown in the 44km race at Henry VII’s Hampton Court Palace on Wednesday, according to Swiss newspaper Blick. The RadioShack-Nissan rider is still in some doubt however after crashing in the closing stages of Saturday’s road race, and badly bruising his right shoulder.

The injury is to the same shoulder that he injured in a crash in April’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, where he shattered his collarbone into four pieces; he was unable to ride yesterday, the day after his crash, but is feeling far better today and will attempt to ride his time trial bike this afternoon.

“I could have flown home yesterday, but I’m a hard man!” he told a press conference today.

“I feel better,” he added. “Every hour that passes I improve, but the pain is still there. We need to see how it goes from hour to hour, and to think positively; that is what is needed now.”

As he climbed into the ambulance at the finish of Saturday’s race, he had similar feelings to his Flanders experience, but thankfully no bones were broken this time.

“That experience will help me now because I know that I [this time] was able to get back up very quickly,” he said. “The form is there, I’m just a bit beaten up. It’s important that I carry on working mentally and keep looking ahead.”

Cancellara - who appeared to be back to his best at the Tour de France, as he took the prologue and held the yellow jersey for most of the first week - and was lookgin good to come close to matching his silver medal from Beijing, four years ago. Switzerland was arguably the strongest team in Saturday’s race, and definitely the best-placed as it entered its closing stages; managing to get four riders in the large, decisive breakaway group.

With Cancellara were his RadioShack-Nissan teammate Grégory Rast, Orica-GreenEdge’s Michael Albasini, and BMC Racing’s Michael Schär, but all that ended as Spartacus misjudged a right-hand bend at Hampton Court Palace - the venue of Wednesday’s time trial - with around 15km to go.

"Never was a Swiss national team working so well," said Albasini. “I’m convinced that Fabian would have taken a medal.”

Albasini and Schär sat up however, as Cancellara was getting back up on his bike, and the Swiss contingent was suddenly down from four to one.

"Whether I have gone on and taken a medal itself is hypothetical,” Albasini explained. “I was in the attack, but I acted out of a reflex, because you never go past your fallen leader.”

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