Fabian Cancellara decided to withdraw from the Tour de France in order prepare for the World Championships in Ponferrada in September as he chases his dream of wearing the rainbow jersey before he retires.
Already a four-time world champion against the clock at elite level, the Swiss rider was also a double junior world champion in the time trial, but a win or a medal on the road has so far eluded him.
A favourite ahead of the 2009 world championships in his home country, Cancellara finished fifth in Mendriso on a course that suited his characteristics. He went one better to claim fourth on the sprinter friendly course in Copenhagen in 2011 and was then tenth last year in Florence.
"It's clear that before I stop racing, I want that world title," Cancellara told the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. "But it really does not matter to me whether it is this year or next year [in Richmond (USA), ed.]."
"Perhaps I will be one of the many favourites in September, but after all these years as a pro, I have learned one thing: sport is anything but predictable."
Cancellara is currently in American for the 2015 Trek World event and said that once he returns home to Switzerland, his sole focus will be on the rainbow jersey.
"Once I slam the front door of my house behind me, my world championships preparation starts. From then my vision is completely focused on Ponferrada."
While not intimately familiar with the Spanish circuit, Cancellara knows the roads from his racing in Spain and he has also been studying the roads via video and is confident in his preparation.
"I haven’t explored the circuit, but I know the roads " he added. "I have already ridden them. And I've watched a lot of videos. Several of our team have been there before. I have a lot of information. Now I just need to follow my plan."