Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) will pass on the 2016 UCI Road World Championships and end his career with the Japan Cup on October 23. The Swiss national team named its Worlds line-up yesterday without Cancellara.
Silvan Dillier (BMC Racing), Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling), Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling), Stefan Küng (BMC Racing), Pirmin Lang (IAM Cycling), Fabian Lienhard (BMC Racing), Gregory Rast (Trek-Segafredo) and Michael Schär (BMC Racing) will form the road race team in Doha, Qatar. Hollenstein and Küng will also race the time trial.
“Fabian’s not one to change his mind,” team Trek-Segafredo manager, Luca Guercilena said after Cancellara won the Olympic time trial last month ahead of Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and Chris Froome (Sky).
Guercilena explained that Cancellara decided that 2016 would be his last and that the Olympics time trial was his goal – nothing else.
Cancellara already won a record four time trial titles in the World Championships. For years, he tried to win the road title without luck. This Worlds course through the Qatari desert and back into Doha, should likely end in a small group sprint that favours cyclists like Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data).
Cancellara counts 92 wins, 59 from time trials with two Olympic goals and four World titles. He also ruled the classics with a Milano-San Remo victory and three wins each in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
“I know I’m only 35, but I have to pick the right moment to stop cycling. For me, it’s this,” Cancellara said in Rio de Janeiro last month. “I’ve very proud of what I have achieved. The next race that I do will be to say thanks to everyone who supported me in these years.”
Cancellara raced and won the Bavikhove criterium on September 4 in Belgium. He joined the team in the car at the Eneco Tour this week in the Netherlands.
The only official race left for him is the HC-ranked Japan Cup on October 23 in Utsunomiya. He raced and helped team-mate Bauke Mollema win in 2015.
Cancellara will be back in Belgium in the Kuipke velodrome ahead of the Ghent Six-Day on November 14. He will compete in a one-kilometre time trial on the famous track before the race starts with stars Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins the next day.