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Fabian Cancellara with another gold for his collection.
Future of world time trial champion still unofficial
The Luxembourg Cycling project under the management of Brian Nygaard has still not revealed its complete rider line-up nor its sponsors, with several riders linked to the new set-up also being secretive about their near future.
One of them is world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara. The Swiss Classics and stage race contender has been heavily linked to Swiss-managed BMC Racing in recent weeks, but nothing is official as yet as Cancellara also seems to be drawn to the Luxembourg project, where many of his yet-teammates and close friends will move.
"The most important thing is to be with the people I feel comfortable with," he told French Vélo Magazine. "I need my mechanic [linked to Luxembourg - ed.], and my soigneur. I need to be in a perfect environment. In joining an environment that I don't know yet, I could lose one year. I thought a lot about it at the Worlds and this played into my performance [he defended his time trial crown but did not weigh into the road race - ed.]."
BMC manager Andy Rihs also said that he failed to obtain Cancellara's signature despite a substantial offer. "He did not reply to our proposal," Rihs told L'Equipe at the presentation of the 2011 Tour de France. "As I don't have any news from him, I expect him to go with the Schlecks. And as we made him a very good offer, I suppose that there is more money elsewhere."
But according to Andy Schleck, 'Spartacus' will not remain his teammate at the Luxembourg outfit next year. "I think that Fabian will sign with BMC... that's life," the 2010 Tour runner-up said, with Nygaard fuelling further speculation but also hinting at a possible signature: "Cancellara is a rider that would need a team like ours."