* Olympic time trial champion crashed in Saturday’s road race
* Bruised collarbone ahead of Wednesday’s time trial (Adds Swiss cycling statement)
By Tom Pilcher
LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara still felt pain on a bruised shoulder in training as he bids to defend his title in London after crashing in the men’s road race, the Swiss team said on Monday.
Unable to ride the day after Saturday’s nasty fall, the Swiss four-times time-trial world champion has yet to make a final decision on whether he will compete in the 44km event on Wednesday.
“Fabian Cancellara trained today for the first time since his crash in Saturday’s road race. After two hours of training on his time trial bike over 70 kilometres, the Swiss still feels pain in his right shoulder,” Swiss cycling said in a statement.
“Because of the pain he feels in the time trial position, he will have to make changes to his positioning on the bike. Whether he takes part in the time trial will be announced on Wednesday the latest.”
Cancellara bruised his collarbone after hitting the safety barriers with about 15km to go in the 250km road race, raising fears about his fitness, but he said it was part of the sport.
“I‘m a hard man. I’ve had a lot of things already this year,” Cancellara, nicknamed “Spartacus” for his build and strength, told a news conference earlier on Monday.
Cancellara fractured his right collarbone in four places in April when he fell in the Tour of Flanders and said the pin which doctors put in it after that crash had ultimately saved his Olympic hopes following his latest tumble.
”I had the same feeling as Flanders. I was waiting for all the tests and the doctor said ‘It’s lucky you had a pin in’. I think that saved me from not breaking my collarbone.
”It feels almost broken. I feel a bit better with every hour that is passing. The pain was still there most of yesterday. But I think I‘m in good hands. I have a good crew around me.
“I‘m optimistic. I have to think positive otherwise I could have flown home already yesterday ...The treatment is important but the most important thing is the head.”
Cancellara will need all of his mental strength should he compete for the time-trial title, especially after letting an almost certain medal slip on Saturday.
One of the strongest riders in the bold 32-man breakaway that dashed British gold medal favourite Mark Cavendish’s chances of glory in the road race, Cancellara rued looking behind him for a “millisecond” before he overshot a right turn.
”I’ve seen the corner many times but I came in too fast. When I look back I think it was an opportunity lost, especially with the way the Swiss guys were riding.
“I said ‘the medal is there, we have to take it.’ I had a super feeling. I felt something big, but now I feel something even bigger, a big pain.” (Editing by Ed Osmond)