Trek Factory Racing rider Fabian Cancellara will make his return to competition at the upcoming Tour of Spain, which begins with a 7.4 kilometre team time trial in Puerto Banús on August 22.
In a horrific crash on the third leg of this year's Tour de France, Cancellara sustained two transverse process fractures in two vertebrae of his lower back while wearing the yellow jersey, and despite finishing the stage to the Mur de Huy, was forced to abandon the race.
"I want to be as good as I can at the Worlds."
"The initial plan was to return to racing at the Eneco Tour next week," says Cancellara. "But it's too early. I'm still experiencing some pain when I'm doing high intensity, even though I have been training for more than a week with training rides of up to four hours. I'd love to race already, but my body is just not ready yet."
Cancellara had almost the exact fracture earlier in the season at the E3 Harelbeke, returning to competition two months later at the Tour de Fjords race in Norway. The start of the Vuelta a España will mark six-and-a-half weeks since his crash at the Tour; a much faster reappearance to the racing scene.
"I'll be at the start of the Vuelta for the seventh time now. It's a race that I like: lots of kilometres, hard racing, good roads and fans that appreciate our sport.
"Above all, I want to get back into the habit of racing and helping our leaders, starting with the team time trial in Marbella. I want to be as good as I can at the Worlds. I'll suffer to get through the first week, but I need competition."