Racing News

Cancellara to start Olympic time trial

Fabian Cancellara will start the Olympic time trial on Wednesday, the Swiss Olympic Association have confirmed.

Cancellara won the Tour de France prologue in June

Cancellara injured his shoulder in Saturday’s men’s road race after crashing into the safety barriers in Richmond Park.

That initially put Cancellara’s participation in the 44km men’s time trial in doubt but a brief statement on the team’s website confirmed the 31-year-old will defend the Olympic title he won in Beijing.

Cancellara was unable to train on Sunday following the accident but the rider nicknamed Spartacus has vowed to fight on and believes he has the mental strength to ride through the pain.

“I’m a hard man. I’ve had a lot of things already this year,” said Cancellara, who fractured his collarbone in four places after crashing at the Tour of Flanders in April.

“I hope in training today the position on the time trial bike suits me and I can go on.

“I had the same feeling as Flanders. I was waiting for all the tests and the doctor said ‘It’s lucky you had a pin in’. I think that saved me from not breaking my collarbone.

“It feels almost broken. I feel a bit better with every hour that is passing. The pain was still there most of yesterday. But I think I’m in good hands. I have a good crew around me.

“I’m optimistic. I have to think positive otherwise I could have flown home already yesterday …The treatment is important but the most important thing is the head.”

Cancellara arrived at the Olympic Games in fine form having won the prologue at the Tour de France and wearing the yellow jersey for the opening week, before withdrawing from the race to attend the birth of his daughter.

The Swiss rider, who won road race silver in Beijing, was in contention for a medal on Saturday having made the decisive break, only to see his hopes dashed by misjudging a corner with 15km to go.

And the one-day Classics specialist admits the pain of missing out on gold is bigger than that of any injury sustained in the crash.

“I’ve seen the corner many times but I came in too fast,” added Cancellara. “When I look back I think it was an opportunity lost, especially with the way the Swiss guys were riding.

“I said ‘the medal is there, we have to take it.’ I had a super feeling. I felt something big, but now I feel something even bigger, a big pain.”

Meanwhile, Cadel Evans has withdrawn from the time trial citing fatigue after finishing 79th in the road race and failing to defend his Tour de France title earlier this month.

“This year hasn’t gone as we had anticipated, and it hasn’t gone as I wanted,” said Evans. “A few things have happened with my health which have put me back  before the Tour, which put me back during the Tour, which put me back coming into here, and it hasn’t been easy to deal with.”

The Australian Olympic Committee said Evans will not be replaced, leaving triple time trial world champion Michael Rogers as the nation’s only rider in the event.

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