Fabian Cancellara of RadioShack Nissan Trek has announced today that he will not start Stage 11 of the Tour de France, but instead drop from this year’s event and return home to Bern to be with his wife in the last stages of her pregnancy. The Swiss rider, who won both the Prologue and Stage 7 at this year’s TdF, said in a statement, ‘The decision to go back home is harder than you might expect… Up to now the team has had a very good Tour de France. We won a stage, had the yellow jersey for more than a week, we lead the Teams Classification and we have four riders in the top 20 of the GC. Most of all, we could show the cycling world that we are not just a group of nine strong individual riders, but a real team. The atmosphere within this group is amazing. All of this makes it hard to abandon here. On the other hand, all of my team mates and directors understand and agree with my decision.’
All being well Cancellara will be back on the saddle to defend his title at the London Olympics in just a few week’s time.