Trek Factory Racing have announced that Fabian Cancellara will not take the start in stage 11 of the Tour de France on Wednesday and has withdrawn from the race. Cancellara came close to victory and his 29th yellow jersey with a late attack in Stage 1, finished fifth in stage 5 in Arenberg, defended his fifth place in the overall until an untimely puncture in the final of Stage 7 and sprinted to second place in stage 9 to Mulhouse.
Cancellara appears to have withdrawn purely to save himself for bigger – or at least more personal – goals later in the season. He comments: ‘I will travel home now and take a little break. The season has been long for me, starting back in Dubai. I have done 59 days of competition this season so far and I have another big goal at the end of this season: the World Championships. It’s not a secret that I’d like to be in my best shape there, so it’s important that I take some rest… It’s been good to be back in the Tour. We lost Andy (Schleck) and Danny (Van Poppel) early on, but the team is strong and will keep on looking for opportunities.’
Trek General Manager Luca Guercilena adds: ‘We brought Fabian to the Tour to be a factor where his skills allowed it and he didn’t disappoint. He’s a rider that always comes to a race to give everything – if you just look at how he was working for Fränk (Schleck) yesterday at 20 km from the finish in a mountain stage. Now he gets a short break and then we will build up his condition again to be at his best in Ponferrada (the World Championships).’