Fabian Cancellara has ditched his tentative plans to challenge for the individual pursuit title at the Olympic Games in Beijing.
The Swiss rider had considered trying to qualify for the Games but the logistics have proved impossible because of the UCI's new qualifying system.
Switzerland's national track coach Markus Nagel explained the reasons behind the world time trial champion's decision.
"We looked very carefully at the possibility because Fabian wanted to go for a medal on the track as well as on the road," said Nagel this morning.
"We talked about how we could make it possible but qualification is very difficult for us because we don't have a Swiss team in the team pursuit, so Fabian would have to qualify by finishing in the top five in the UCI rankings.
"To do that he'd need to finish fourth in two World Cups and possibly get a good result in the World Championships.
"If it was just a case that he needed to get a certain time to qualify for selection then we would have been able to go to the Copenhagen World Cup and try for that.
"But he simply has no time to ride two World Cups [Los Angeles and Copenhagen] and then the World Championships because he wants to prepare properly for his objectives on the road.
"He has a team training camp with CSC in January, then he wants to prepare for Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix in March and April.
"If he had said 'I want to go for the track' we would have to give it 100 per cent for the track. That's not possible, so he is going to concentrate on the time trial and road race in Beijing."
Cancellara's Beijing bid?
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.
Liv Macha Pro review: I just can’t stop looking at my feet
Liv's new flagship shoes are super stiff, lightweight and so very eye-catching
By Anne-Marije Rook • Published
CW LIVE: B & B Hotels, team expected to sign Mark Cavendish, collapses; Bahrain Victorious teases new kit; Chris Froome warns of the dangers of Covid-19; L39ion of Los Angeles announce 2023 roster and Tom Pidcock's cyclo-cross calendar confirmed
All the news that's fit to print in the world of cycling
By Tom Thewlis • Published