LONDON (Reuters) - Olympic time trial champion cyclist Fabian Cancellara hopes to train through the pain in his bid to defend his title in London after crashing in the men’s road race, he told a news conference on Monday.
Unable to ride the day after Saturday’s nasty fall, the Swiss four-time time-trial world champion has yet to make a final decision on whether he will compete in the 44km event on Wednesday.
“I hope in training today the position on the time trial bike suits me and I can go on,” he told reporters near Hampton Court Palace where the time trial route starts and finishes.
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,” said Cancellara, nicknamed “Spartacus” for his build and strength.
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 a certain medal slip on Saturday.
One of the strongest riders in the bold 32-man breakaway that dashed British gold medal favorite 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 Jason Neely