The participation of Team Saxo Bank's Fabian Cancellara in some of the Spring Classics may be in jeopardy after a crash while riding at home in Switzerland caused him to forego several days of training and to skip racing at the Vuelta a Murcia. In the crash, Cancellara injured his right shoulder blade.
"I really needed the kilometers in Murcia but the pain in my shoulder won't let me unfortunately," said Cancellara according to his team's website. "It sucks for sure that I've had to take another break at this point – especially since I didn't get further than the prologue in California."
Last year, Cancellara enjoyed a stellar season with highlight wins at several classics including the Monte Paschi Eroica, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo. He is hoping to return to racing no later than at the Tirreno-Adriatico on March 11-17 in Italy. His participation in Monte Paschi Eroica on March 7 is in question.
"There's still a month to go before we hit the cobblestones, and hopefully I'll be able to make up for lost time, so I'll be at a level fit for the classics. This is not an ideal situation but I'll just have to do my very best to fight my way back in shape. I think it's possible but only if I don't have any more accidents from now on."
Saxo Bank Sports Director Kim Andersen said his team would have to adjust its expectations accordingly and not count on results like the ones produced by Cancellara last year.
"The most important thing is for his shoulder to get better so he's able to race again as soon as possible. If all goes according to plan he should be able to get ready in which case he'll be on top form for the two big ones: Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix," said Andersen.
The setbacks come a few weeks after Cancellara's withdrawal from the Tour of California due to a high fever during stage one the day after he had won the prologue.