Switzerland?s Fabian Cancellara has confirmed that he will not take part in the time trial and the road race at this week?s world championships.
Cancellara has won the world time trial title for the last two years but pulled out after admitted he is not at his best after a long season that included winning Milan-San Remo, the Tour de France with CSC team mate Carlos Sastre and taking gold in the time trial at the Beijing Olympics.
Cancellara got a soaking during the Tour of Poland that ended on Saturday and made his decision on Sunday.
?I’ve chosen to cancel my participation because I’m simply not anywhere near the shape I’ve been in so far this season,? he said in a message on the CSC team’s official web site.
?I had some great results quite early in the season in Tirreno-Adriatico and Milano-San Remo and after the Tour and the Olympic Gold medal I haven’t been able to get back into the swing of things with the right kind of training required for a World Championship.?
?The fact that I was taken ill after Tour of Poland has definitely not helped matters either. I’d rather make the decision myself than go and get a bad result, which would be a depressing ending to what’s been my best season ever. Now I’ll be able to take the time I need and then focus on becoming even stronger for next spring.?
The absence of Cancellara from Thursday?s Elite men?s time trial will make the race wide open.
Britain?s David Millar has a great chance of winning the rainbow jersey again after losing the 2003 title when he was suspended for doping. Other favourites include Australia?s Michael Rogers, Americans Levi Leipheimer and Dave Zabriskie, Stefan Schumacher of Germany and Sweden?s Gustav Larsson who was second to Cancellara in Beijing.
|ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2008|
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
Swift a close second in final race before Worlds
Rob Hayles on why he’s not riding the Worlds
GB Women’s Worlds team confirmed
British Worlds team starts to take shape
Geraint Thomas called up to Worlds team to replace Cavendish
Mark Cavendish pulls out of Worlds team
Cycling Weekly news section