Fabian Cancellara will be at the head of the Swiss team at the road race of the UCI World Championships in Florence, as he looks for his first road title. he will lead a strong nine-man team in the 272 km long race on September 29.
Swiss Cycling announced its nine-man squad on Wednesday morning. In addition to Cancellara, the squad includes Michael Albasini, who this year won the GP Kanton Argau and a stage at Paris-Nice, and Martin Elmiger, winner of the Tour du Limousin.
Mathias Frank won two stages at the Tour of Austria an one at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, on his way to second overall at the latter. Gregory Rast won a stage at the Tour de Suisse and Michael Schär is national road champion. Danilo Wyss and Oliver Zaugg will also support Cancellara in the race. Youngster Sébastien Reichenbach won the Trofeo Matteoti.
For the women, Patricia Schwager and Jutta Steinen will ride the time trial.
It was earlier announced that Cancellara and Reto Hollenstein would ride the time trial, and that Joland Neff, Schwager and Doris Schwieizer the women's road race.
Zoidl for Austria
Austria is going to the World Championships with realistic goals, saying a top 15 ranking in the Elite men's road race “would be perfect”. The six-man team will be led by experienced road captain Bernhard Eisel, with Riccardo Zoidl and Stefan Denifl seen as having the best chances for a top result.
For Zoidl, who won the Tour of Austria this year, “the length of the race is a factor for uncertainty, and Stefan brought in a super result last year with 22nd place on an equally difficult Worlds course,” said national trainer Franz Hartl.
Zoidl will be supported by teammate Marcus Eibegger. “Like Ricci, Marcus has also never ridden such a long race. Shortly before the race we will discuss our tactics. “Matthias Brändle is also in very good form and maybe he can take off in an escape group right from the start.” Georg Preidler is coming to the race from the Vuelta a Espana, where he was in various escape groups. Eisel will assume his accustomed role of road captain.
Zoidl and Brändle will also ride the time trial. “Ricci has set a high standard, with his 14th lace last year and his wonderful season. Matthias Brändle has also shown a strong form lately. Last week he won at the Tour de Jura after a nearly 50 km long solo break. I believe both can bring in a top ten finish,” Hartl said.
Martina Ritter wil ride the time trial for the women, and will be joined by Andrea Graus and Daniela Pintarelli for the road race.