Speaking to the press today following successful surgery to pin the quadruple fracture of his collarbone he suffered during Sunday's Tour of Flanders Fabian Cancellara said he would be back training within a week and possibly as soon as Thursday. Spartacus aims to be racing again in May.
According to a statement from his team, Cancellar would be fit to train on an 'ergometer'* but he is still suffering from a lot of muscle pain following his crash in a feed zone during middle part of the race.
"I'm happy that the surgery went so well, but I'm still in pain. I'm going to rest a couple of days, maybe even a week, and then resume training. I had two major goals this season: the classics and the Olympics. The spring campaign is unfortunately over for me now. Because I had planned a break after the classics anyway, my build-up towards London will not change. The plan is that I return to competition in May, possibly the Bayern Rundfahrt, as I did last year."
Cancellara has made no secret of his targeting of Olympic gold in London and he will undoubtedly be one of the major threats to home favourite, Mark Cavendish and his Team Sk… GB colleagues in the battle for top spot on the podium for the road race. Cancellara though will also be one of the favourites to take gold in the time trial too. Cancellara has already made at least one trip to recce the route and should easily have the power and stamina to deal with multiple laps of Box HIl in the road racel even if he has to do it without a team as strong as some of his main rivals such as Cavendish.
Reflecting on the incident that scuppered his classics plans for this year Cancellara said:
"A crash is part of cycling, and in a way it's also part of life. I have been working really hard in the last four months to be in the best shape possible for the big races; and I'm confident that I would have performed well. However, I'm glad I only broke my collarbone and that I'm ok for the rest. I'll be back!"
Cancellara made a point of thanking his teammates, cycling fans, the medical staff who treated him, and his wife Stephanie who is expecting the couple's second child.
"The amount of messages wishing me a speedy recovery is really nice. I also had a lot of contact with the team members that are still in Belgium. I told them that they should keep their heads up and be ready for a good battle on the cobblestones on Sunday."
Talking about the support he receives from his wife he said:
"A bike rider needs the unconditional support of his family to perform well. Stefanie knows this and she fully supports my career. Now that we are expecting a second baby, I'm even more motivated to train hard and aim high for the Olympics."
Before Cancellara spoke, RadioShack Nissan Trek team doctor Andreas Gösele explained the treatment so far given to the injured rider and what the next steps would be:
"My colleague, doctor Farkas, used a clavicle pin (picture below) to put the bone together. It's a procedure where we insert a pin in the clavicle itself, instead of using a plate and a lot of screws to keep the bone together. This procedure is a lot more natural and doesn't affect the strength of the bone once the device is removed. The pin will be removed once the fracture is completely healed, at the very earliest in six weeks time. But this is really a small routine operation."
*No we don't think Spartacus will be jumping on a rowing machine - Radio Nissan Trek are using the word in it's strictest sense to refer to an exercise machine equipped with a power measuring device. Probably
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.