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Fabian Cancellara won the Swiss national time trial championship for the seventh time Wednesday, 20 kilometers from his home. He said that winning the championship on his home turf made it “extra special.”
Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) beat Thomas Frei, who finished second, 1:54 back on the 50km course in Messen, Switzerland.
Martin Elmiger finished two minutes down on the four-time world champion, in third place.
Cancellara said that the familiarity of wearing the Swiss national skinsuit does not devalue the win for him.
“I’m very proud to have won another Swiss title in the time trial,” he said. “It’s an honor to wear the colors of your country, even if you win the race for the seventh time. The competition was very motivated, because all of us want that title.”
RadioShack-Nissan sports director Lucan Guercilena considered nationals a valuable test leading up to the Olympics.
“This is not yet the Olympic time trial, of course, but it was a good test for him,” said Guercilena in a team release. “Every victory is a victory. He puts in two minutes to the second man, so that’s very good. It’s an indication that he’s growing to his best shape and ability for this kind of long effort, so I’m very satisfied.”
Nonetheless, he noted that, after fracturing his collarbone at the Tour of Flanders on April 1, “Fabian’s time trial project is a work in progress.”
“I’m happy with where I stand at this point,” said Cancellara. “I was relaxed and very focused. In a race like this you don’t have the big infrastructure around you, there are no official split times and there are not so many competitors, but it’s still very good to go home with a good feeling in the pocket.”
The Swiss championships continue Sunday with the road race. Cancellara will line up for that race as well, along with teammates Gregory Rast and Oliver Zaugg.