Even four-time World Champions can still get butterflies in their stomach before starting a time trial. Fabian Cancellara tweeted before Saturday's Tour de Suisse opener that he “was really nervos today. Even me can still have that.”
The RadioShack-Nissan rider also said that it was a “strange feeling when you dont no how good you are.” He covered the 7.3km course throughout Lugano in 9: 47, but ended up second behind Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale, who was four seconds faster.
The Swiss rider missed nearly two months of racing after suffering a quadruple collarbone fracture in the Tour of Flanders on April 1. His recovery took longer than anticipated, and he had to abandon his first race back, the Bayern Rundfahrt, due to illness.
“Just because I’ve won a lot of things in the time trial doesn’t mean I will automatically win. You have to have power. I tried to do my best, especially here in my home tour.
“The expectations are always high and I tried to stay focused on the race and my performance. This is what counts. Maybe I lost just a little bit because of that pressure.”
He tried to look for the positive aspects of the situation. “But I am still getting better and I am feeling better. I will continue to concentrate and focus on what is coming. On the top of the climb I had gone so deep today. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m coming back from injury and so what I did today makes me happy. That’s my little victory.”
There were still the negative aspects, though. “But of course from a sporting point of view, I am sad. That’s how life goes for a cyclist. I am still learning to handle the pressure as I know that’s my responsibility and today I think I put up a good battle so I will be satisfied.”
He can still look forward to the Tour de France. Team manager Johan Bruyneel said earlier that Cancellara was the only RadioShack-Nissan rider assured of a place on the squad.