Cancellara crash puts Classics in doubt

Fabian Cancellara

After leaving the Tour of California due to illness, Saxo Bank's Classics star Fabian Cancellara has suffered another setback in his preparations for the great one-day races.

A crash at his home in Switzerland has resulted in several days without training and because of the pain Cancellara has been forced to cancel his planned participation in the Vuelta a Murcia.

The Olympic time-trial champion has injured his right shoulder blade and will be back in action in Italy with Tirreno-Adriatico, and if the pain subsides faster than expected, in the Monte Paschi Eroica.

"I really needed the kilometers in Murcia but the pain in my shoulder won't let me unfortunately," Cancellara explained on Saxo Bank's official 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,? says Cancellara, who at this point last year took an impressive string of victories in Monte Paschi Eroica, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-Sanremo.

"There's still a month to go before we hit the cobble stones 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," adds Cancellara.

"We have to be realistic and admit that we won't be able to expect results like the ones Fabian managed same time last year. The most important thing is for his shoulder to get better so he's able to race again as soon as possible," commented sports director Kim Andersen.

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"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. It'll be a race against time but Fabian has surprised us all more than once." said Andersen.