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Cancellara withdraws from Vuelta

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Fabian Cancellara grinds up the Angliru in 2011.

Fabian Cancellara grinds up the Angliru in 2011.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) en route to victory in the Vuelta's stage 11 time trial

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) en route to victory in the Vuelta's stage 11 time trial
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) on the podium after winning the stage 11 time trial at the Vuelta a Espana

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) on the podium after winning the stage 11 time trial at the Vuelta a Espana
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack) cruised to the win in the only Vuelta time trial of 2013

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack) cruised to the win in the only Vuelta time trial of 2013
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) has abandoned the Vuelta a España in order to focus on his preparation for the UCI Road World Championships. Cancellara came into the Spanish Grand Tour unsure as to whether he would aim to finish the race, or withdraw early, stating that as a mark of respect to the Vuelta he should focus all his energy into the three-week race. With continued respect he remarked that in regards to the Vuelta; "we'll meet again next year."

Having racked up an impressive victory in the Vuelta’s stage 11 time trial, and performed strongly across many road stages, Cancellara decided it was time to change his attention to Florence. After his time trial victory, where he beat his main rival for the World Time Trial Title in Tony Martin, he remained elusive as to which of the three races at the world titles would target. Be it the road race, time trial or team time trial, Cancellara remains a strong candidate to take a rainbow jersey home at the end of the championships.

After Cancellara finished an impressive fifth during his last stage, it was his team leader, Chris Horner, who provided a glowing performance appraisal for his 32-year-old Swiss teammate.

"Cancellara was amazing. There were probably seven Saxo riders on the front and Fabian just took me past all of them, then pulled for another 2k or more," said Horner. "For me it was the difference today and I thank him for staying in the race as long as he did after winning the time trial. He was unbelievable in the beginning of the mountain stages and amazing today."