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World Championships: Cancellara, Gerdemann out


Current world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara has decided not to defend his title in Varese. So ends the week of will-he-or-won't-he speculation. Though the Swiss federation named him to the team, he postponed his final decision until the conclusion of the Tour of Poland. After a long season, Cancellara decided that Worlds was a race too far, and citing fatigue declined the invitation. In a press statement, Cancellara said he "lacked power." He began his season in February, and "after only a brief pause," Cance rode the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France before turning to the "enormous task" of preparing for Beijing. "After the successes of Beijing, I can no longer motivate myself for new stress." The just-concluded Tour of Poland is Cancellara's last race of this season. Said Bjarne Riis over at CSC-Saxo Bank, "I respect Fabian's decision and I know he's being realistic in terms of his performance if he was to participate." Added Riis, "Now he needs a break... and I'm convinced we'll see a top-motivated at the Spring Classics next year." See you next February!

Meanwhile, in Germany, Linus Gerdemann has also decided not to ride Worlds. Gerdemann has suffered from a sore neck since the Tour of Germany. Despite work with a physical therapist, he has proven unable to shake the problem. Gerdemann told the press that he could not ride much more than two or three hours without pain. He still hopes to ride the Münsterland-Giro, which he considers his home race. Concluded Gerdemann: "Now I hope next year everything will be better, and I will be able to fulfill my plans!" After all of this season's bad luck, the German is due.

Last, but not least, Fränk Schleck is also considering a withdrawal from Worlds. He has not yet decided for certain, but the elder Schleck brother may not race in Varese. More on that soonest.