Swiss star Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) will get back to racing at the Tour de Suisse starting on Saturday in his home country. Earlier this month, he crashed at 55km/h during a reconnaissance ride of the time trial stage of the upcoming race.
"I thought I could come into Suisse with good form, but now my form is a question mark. We'll see how the week goes," said Cancellara at a pre-race press conference. "Since the crash, I couldn't follow my training plan."
He described what happened in the incident. "I was behind the motorbike motopacing near Bern on a flat road and I was three to four meters back and I tried to close a gap, but I think I came too fast across it and then I was on the ground."
"It's sad that it happened to me, but with all my thousands of kilometers behind a moto, I just have to live with the risk," he said. "I lost a few days of training. I felt pretty ok after 24 hours, but after 48 hours, it really hit and I had a lot of pain and couldn't ride."
Nonetheless, racing his home tour gives Cancellara some extra motivation. "In my opinion, I have somewhat of a handicap. But racing in Switzerland and on my home ground, I'll see what I can do," he said. "When I'm on the start line, I will give the best I can, and I hope to get better by doing the race. I'll just take it from day to day because that's what I have to do.
"I lost a bit mentally from this crash as well as training-wise. I think I'll have to race smart to make up for whatever I don't have with my engine."
"It's a hard Tour de Suisse, but a beautiful race. We have hard mountains and a hard time trial this year. I love this race. I've won it already and I hope to win it again," he said.
The Trek rider reiterated that his goal is the world championships at the end of the season, but said that won't stop him from racing aggressively. "I also want to be part of races - to challenge and make the race and not just sit in the bunch.
"After Tour de Suisse, I'll decide how everything looks. The Tour will be in my program. I'll see what's next in my program toward worlds."
He said was particularly looking forward to the Tour de France's cobblestone stage.
He planned to continue racing after the Tour ahead of worlds. "At my age, I need racing to keep up my level and to keep me engaged mentally. I want to keep up my little fire inside until the end of the year."
As for a specific intention for the Tour de France, Cancellara said he'd have to wait and see who else makes the team and then they would balance team and individual goals. "We'll see after the Tour de Suisse how the roster looks for the Tour de France. There are 15 riders on long-term list for the Tour. Twelve are currently racing."
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