Fabian Cancellara tips Tony Martin and Bert Grabsch for time trial gold
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Fabian Cancellara tips Tony Martin and Bert Grabsch for time trial gold

by Ben Atkins at 7:37 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
 
Four-time champion expects main challenge to come from HTC-Highroad’s German duo, but still expects to win himself

fabian cancellaraSwitzerland’s four-time World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) is obviously one of the big favourites for victory in Wednesday’s race in Copenhagen, Denmark. The indomitable ‘Spartacus’ has been a little less than his usual invincible self this season though, and so the race for the 2011 rainbow jersey should not be the usual walkover.

“It’s a very, very, very flat course,” Cancellara told a press conference, “so maybe there will be a few favourites. I had a look at it on Monday and I like it. It should be a very fast time trial, I’m already looking forward to it.”

Among his challengers, Cancellara himself has picked out two Germans as the main competition, according to Sporza; both of whom currently ride for HTC-Highroad, and both of whom will be transferring to Omega Pharma-Quick Step in 2012.

“[Bert] Grabsch and [Tony] Martin will be good,” said the 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 champion, “but it will be difficult for them to beat me.”

Grabsch was the World champion in 2008, the year that Cancellara decided to miss the World championships following his Olympic success. After taking the German championship in June, the 36-year-old won the time trial stage of the Österreich-Rundfahrt, although he could only manage 21st in the Vuelta a España time trial in Salamanca last month.

26-year-old Martin, on the other hand, has been far more consistent all season. Aside from his slightly surprising defeat to Grabsch in the German championships, Martin has won virtually every time trial he has ridden this year, including those of the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France – on an identical course – as well as that in the Vuelta a España.

Most tellingly of all, Martin has beaten Cancellara a number of times this season, including a 1’27” defeat in the Vuelta stage, where the Swiss finished only fourth. He insists though, that it will not be so easy for either – or anybody else – to take his rainbow jersey away.

“With the form I have coming out of the Vuelta, and the way that I’ve felt over the last few days, I have a lot of confidence,” Cancellara explained. “I feel really good and I have no worries, but everything needs to go our way on the day, and of course you need to be a little bit lucky.”

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