Cancellara to Skip Milano-San Remo
Instead Cancellara will tackle Settimana Internazionele di Coppi e Bartali.
Team Saxo Bank’s Fabian Cancellara will not defend his victory in this year's Milano-San Remo, but instead focus on his preparation to the Northern European classics and other races ahead by taking part in the Settimana Internazionele di Coppi e Bartali stage race next week in Italy.
Cancellara had to exit the 2009 Tour of California due to illness and also exited the 2009 Tirreno-Adriatico. He is body is, thereforet in the need of more stage race experience to be able to tackle this year's major races such as the Tour de France where he may turn out to be one of Team Saxo Bank's aces in their quest for overall victory.
“I regret not being able to do Milan-San Remo which for obvious reasons is a race that has a special place in my heart, but I need to be realistic. It’s the best decision based on the form I have right now and more importantly, for family reasons, I wasn’t able to do the race on Saturday either way. I want to stay focussed and since I had to exit Tirreno-Adriatico, I need to get more stability and I can only get that from racing and continue my work. I look forward to be gaining more form in the Italian stage race and hopefully, that will help me get some progress and form”, says Cancellara who will be part of Team Saxo Bank for the 5-day race starting in Riccione on March 24.
“Fabian wasn’t able to finish the 2009 Tirreno-Adriatico race, but made the cautious choice of focussing on the goals ahead instead of pushing himself too far, which is totally understandable. We completely support his decision and we’re happy that he is already back racing next week. We need to be realistic about his current shape and thus take things step by step. The race next week is perfect for him to re-enter the racing programme and in that way he definitely still has a realistic chance to play an important role in Classics up north. The most important thing right now is that he gets a fair chance to work and get into shape and once that is in place, I’m sure he will be back with his usual class”, says team owner Bjarne Riis.