Fabian Cancellara downplays time trial chances before Tour de Suisse opening TT
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Friday, June 07, 2013

Fabian Cancellara downplays time trial chances before Tour de Suisse opening TT

by Ben Atkins at 7:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Tour de Suisse
 
Swiss rider elaborates on reason for missing Tour de France

Fabian CancellaraFabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Leopard) may be a four time world champion against the clock, but he has downplayed his prospects of victory in Saturday’s 8.2 kilometre time trial at the Tour de Suisse.

The 32 year old focussed almost exclusively on the Classics this season and that plus the fact that he has just a DNF at last month’s Tour of Belgium since his dominant Paris-Roubaix victory on April 7th means he is talking down his chances.

“I haven’t been working too much on my time trial bike, perhaps only three or four times this year,” he told the press at a conference one day prior to the start of the race. “My training and goals have been elsewhere. My preparation for the spring Classics this year was perfect and time trial training has not been very much a part of that.

“Tomorrow I do have ambitions of course, because the Tour de Suisse is a great race,” he continued. “It’s my home race and in the Prologue I am always close. But there is a different start this year and I will do what I can do. My general ambitions here are less than in other years because I am coming from a different preparation. But we have a super strong team here and of course I will do what I can for the team as I always do. We’ll see how things go. I hope to have a great start with good weather.”

Cancellara has long been rumoured to sit out the Tour de France this July since, with no prologue, it offers him very little until the 33km Mont-Saint-Michel time trial midway through the second week. In today’s press conference, the Swiss powerhouse finally confirmed this, with his big targets now coming towards the end of the season.

“My ambitions now are for later in the season, for the World championships,” he said, his quotes elaborating on the news reported earlier that he would not be in cycling’s biggest race. “Because of this I won’t be part of the Tour de France this time. I will have another program. That’s why I can now follow other goals. You have to go to races 100% motivated and that’s why I’m looking forward to the Tour of Austria, Poland, the Vuelta [a España] and to be 100% fresh for worlds.

“I don’t do things when I’m not ready,” Cancellara explained. “I said to the team that we have enough other strong and motivated riders to challenge for the Tour. I wanted to try something different from the past few years. I need to be mentally fresh for these new goals. I know the team needs me and I need the team. The Tour always gave me a lot. My first big experience was in 2004 when I won the prologue and I’m still the record holder for most days in yellow without winning the Tour.”

Cancellara won the World championship time trial in 2006 and 2007, and 2009 and 2010, but recent years have seen his thunder stolen by Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Tony Martin. Rather than staking things on another gold medal against the clock, he will focus instead on the road race. He’s hoping for his first ever rainbow jersey in that discipline, aiming to better his fifth place from 2009 and fourth in 2011.

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