Fabian Cancellara won a third consecutive national time trial title when he beat Stefan Küng by almost a minute in the battle for the Swiss champion's jersey. The win was significant for the Swiss as he was a possible non-starter and he now hopes to repeat the feat in Sunday's road race.
Still nursing the effects from an allergic reaction to a bee sting sustained during the time trial at the Tour de Suisse last Saturday, Fabian Cancellara was a doubtful starter for the Switzerland National Time Trial Championship on Wednesday.
However, his decision to take the start proved fruitful as he convincingly won his third successive National time trial title, completing the 44.6-kilometer technical, hilly course in 57:55 for an average speed of 46.3kmh.
Stefan Küng (BMC Development) placed second (+49”) and Silvain Dillier (BMC Racing) third (+1’07”).
“I felt okay, but not really special," Cancellara said. "After my bee sting and the hard Tour de Suisse I still did not feel 100% recovered. But that is also normal – when you are allergic to bee venom, you have to take care and rest. I felt pretty tired the last few days.
“I tried to push like I knew I had to for a time trial. 45 kilometers is always a long effort and you have to fight from the beginning to the end. I did not look who was on the start because I had to fight for myself. [General Manager and Coach] Luca Guercilena was in the car following, and he gave me a time split after the first lap, that was nice and helped a lot. In the last five kilometers I was quite tired.”
It was Fabian Cancellara’s ninth National Title in the race against the clock, his first coming in 2002. The course was two laps over a tricky course, and Cancellara heaped praise on the organization for providing a safe and secure race.
“It was a hard parcours, quite technical and on small roads. But the organization provided 100% safety on this course and that for me was very important. It’s not always easy to have this in Switzerland.
“First we were not sure if I would start because of the bee sting and the allergic reaction I had. We did not know what could come, we had to wait and see about my health because that is the most important. When we saw that I could recover well after the crash and bee sting my left arm was really swollen that is also the reason I did not start the last stage on Sunday. But in the end I had great treatments at home to help with the healing and followed the medical advice from the team doctors. I had great assistance from the team and I was able to race today.”
The National Championship road race will be held on Sunday and Fabian Cancellara will line up with Trek Factory Racing teammate Gregory Rast in an attempt to make it two for two. The road championship, said Cancellara, would be even sweeter.
“It’s getting harder and harder, time trials and championships are never easy. Sometimes everyone thinks I push with just one leg but in the end you have to push with both legs. It’s fantastic to win the jersey again, but honestly I would love more to win the road championships. But in the end, every jersey is a jersey, a win is a win, and it’s important for me, for the team, for the sponsors, for everyone, and that is also nice. On Sunday Greggy [Rast] and I will do our best, but we will have to fight against IAM and BMC who have more riders. It will not be easy.”
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