By Andrew Hood
Fabian Cancellara is dreaming of carving a place for himself in the pages of cycling history by becoming the first rider to ever win the world championship in both the road race and time trial in the same year.
After dominating Thursday’s world time trial championship, winning his third rainbow jersey in the discipline in four years, the Swiss powerhouse is audaciously proclaiming his intentions of taking aim at the world road title.
“I dream of winning both races. It’s possible to do both,” Cancellara said. “I know Sunday is like a lottery. The worlds is a race unlike any other. I always set the bar very high. I like the pressure. I can handle it.”
Since the individual time trial was designated as a world championship event in 1994, retired Spanish rider Abraham Olano is the only rider to ever win gold medals in both disciplines. He claimed the road title in 1995 and the time trial title in 1998.
Spain’s Miguel Indurain came close, winning the 1995 world time trial title and earning bronze on the road in 1991, and silver twice, in 1993 and 1995.
Cancellara already pulled one double last summer at the Beijing Olympic Summer Games, striking gold in the TT and bronze in the road race.
With major TT success already stacking his palmares, Cancellara was considering skipping Thursday’s race to focus entirely on the road race.
“I wasn’t even going to race the time trial because I wanted to focus exclusively on the road race,” Cancellara said. “The chance to win the world time trial title in front of my home crowds only comes once in a lifetime, so I decided to try to do both. I want the rainbow jersey on the road and I think I have a chance to win.”
Cancellara will anchor the six-man Swiss team. Joining him will be Michael Albasini, Rubens Bertogliati, Mathias Frank, Gregory Rast and Oliver Zaugg.
Cancellara believes he’s strong enough to be able to last the distance and have the legs to be there when the major moves are thrown down in the final decisive laps.
“Racing Thursday means more work for Sunday, but I am already thinking about the road race just moments after crossing the finish line,” he said. “Racing at home gives me even more motivation. It makes the sacrifices easier. If I didn’t have the motivation to win, I would stay home.”