Having fractured two vertebrae at the Tour de France, Fabian Cancellara will return at the Vuelta a España ahead of a World Championships bid

Fabian Cancellara will make his comeback from two broken vertebrae at the Vuelta a España as he builds up his form and fitness ahead of the World Championships.

The Trek Factory Racing rider has been out of action since crashing on stage three of the Tour de France – the yellow jersey wearer made it to the end of the stage but abandoned the race that night.

Cancellara suffered the same injury at E3 Harelbeke, which ruled him out of the Classics season, and says that although he’s still experiencing pain he’ll be ready for the start of the Vuelta on August 22.

“The initial plan was to return to racing at the Eneco Tour next week,” says Cancellara. “But it’s too early. I’m still experiencing some pain when I’m doing high intensity, even though I have been training since more than a week with training rides of up to four hours. I’d love to race already, but my body is just not ready yet.”

The Swiss’s teammate Frank Schleck is likely to lead the team at the Vuelta having been ruled out of the Tour de France with a knee injury.

And Cancellara hopes to help Schleck to a high finish, while also building his form for the World Championships road race in Richmond, Virginia, on a course that could suit his skillset.

“[The Vuelta is] a race that I like: lots of kilometers, hard racing, good roads and fans that appreciate our sport,” he added. “Above all I want to get back into the habit of racing and help our leaders, starting with the team time trial in Marbella. I want to be as good as I can at the Worlds. I’ll suffer to get through the first week, but I need competition.”