Cancellara appears to rule out move from Saxo Bank to BMC Racing Team
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cancellara appears to rule out move from Saxo Bank to BMC Racing Team

by Conal Andrews at 8:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Swiss world champion seems frustrated with widespread changes in current squad

Fabian CancellaraWith rumours persisting that he might jump ship and ride with the BMC Racing Team next season, world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara has clarified his position and said that he is likely to stay with Saxo Bank. However the Swiss rider doesn’t sound too happy with the widespread changes that are taking place.

"I still have a contract, so I probably will not switch teams,” he told Radsport, which made it clear that he sounded unhappy. “There are many changes happening at the moment, and officially everything is not yet known.”

According to reports Cancellara learned everything about the new direction for the squad from the media, with team owner Bjarne Riis not telling him what was taking place.

The biggest transformation is the departure of the Schleck brothers to the new Luxembourg team project, plus the arrival of triple Tour de France champion Alberto Contador. Other new riders are also arriving, while longtime Saxo Bank cornerstones Jens Voigt and Stuart O’Grady are moving on.

What’s certain is that the Saxo Bank Sungard squad is going to be a very different looking setup next year, and that will bring concerns that the atmosphere could change.

Whatever happens in the weeks ahead, Cancellara has said that he will concentrate on the Vuelta to get ready for the world championships in Australia. He rode the Spanish Tour last year as preparation, and was one of the strongest riders in Mendrisio, Switzerland. He picked up yet another rainbow jersey in the time trial, and placed fifth in the road race.

The Vuelta is, he suggests, vital to his preparations. “I need to do that to return to top form,” he said. However while he’s determined to take a fourth world TT title, he doesn’t feel under massive pressure to perform. “My season is already exceptional. I should have already put it to an end, because with this sprint and summer, I have already filled my bags [in terms of results and prizes].”

Cancellara started things off with victory in the Tour of Oman, then soloed to an impressive win in the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen. Dominant victories in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix followed, after which he took the prologue in the Tour de Suisse.

Those results set him up for a strong Tour de France, and he won the prologue plus the final time trial in July. He held the yellow jersey for several days

Persistent rumours of an interest in him by the BMC Racing Team will mean that the whispers of a move will continue until such time as the transfer market settles down. While he has a valid contract, some reports suggest that Riis may need to secure extra money to pay Contador and others. If this is the case, releasing Cancellara would be one way to increase the budget.

However if the Dane has enough cash, he’ll hang onto the popular rider. He is competitive in the Classics and the time trials, and is a virtual guarantee of Tour de France stage victories. He also won the Tour de Suisse last season, and so is a relatively compete rider despite his bulk.

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