Swiss newspaper claims Cancellara will miss 2013 Tour de France
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Saturday, February 02, 2013

Swiss newspaper claims Cancellara will miss 2013 Tour de France

by Shane Stokes at 10:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Tour de France
 
Lack of early time trial prompts Swiss rider to leave cycling’s top race off his programme

Fabian CancellaraHe’s shone in the race in the past, winning five prologues, eight stages in all and holding the record of yellow jerseys [28] amongst the riders who never won the race, but Swiss publication Blick has claimed that Fabian Cancellara won’t line out in this year’s Tour de France.

If accurate, the surprising news denies his RadioShack Leopard team of one of its star riders for the race.

However Cancellara has said that he believes his chances of shining in the race have been limited by the parcours.

“The start in Corsica features neither a prologue nor a time trial,” Blick reports him as saying while explaining his decision.

The 2013 edition will instead feature the first sprinter-friendly stage one finish in over four decades, with the early race against the clock being the team time trial on stage four rather than an individual effort.

The race does also feature two solo TT tests, namely stage eleven’s 33 kilometre race to Mont St. Michel and stage 17’s Chorges TT, but these are not enough to entice him to take part.

Apart from his passing up on the chance to chase a stage win, Cancellara’s absence would also be a blow to the team as he could have done vital work for his team-mate Andy Schleck. However according to Blick, the Swiss rider doesn’t believe that the Luxembourg rider can win this year’s race.

While the route is undoubtedly better than the 2012 course would have been for Schleck, he is still trying to regain his form after a bad crash in last year’s Criterium du Dauphiné.

While Blick doesn't elaborate on Cancellara’s pessimism about Schleck’s chances, the 2010 race winner has himself said that it is conceivable that it could take him until 2014 before he is as strong as he was before.

Cancellara will begin his season in the Tour of Qatar and then continue in the Tour of Oman prior to tackling his big goals, the Classic trio of Milan-Sanremo, the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix. The world championship is likely to be a target in the second half of the year.
 

Note: Both Cancellara and RadioShack Leopard have since denied Blick's story: see that follow up here:

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