OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Wiggins's gold rival declared fit
By James Toney, Sportsbeat, London 2012
BRADLEY Wiggins' chief rival for Olympic gold this week has declared himself fit – although quite how fit remains to be seen.
HOW FIT IS FIT: Cancellara suffered a tragic blow in his road race and finished well behind
Fabian Cancellara was well fancied to defend the time trial title he won in Beijing, although recent weeks have not gone according to plan.
The Swiss rider, who fractured his collarbone earlier in the season, lost a time trial to Wiggins at the Tour de France and then suffered a heavy fall during Saturday's road race.
But x-rays revealed heavy bruising and no breaks and he returned to the bike yesterday for training ahead of Wednesday's 44 kilometre race around Surrey, starting and concluding at Hampton Court Palace.
"I am an optimist and now I hope the training will show if the position on the time-trial bike suits me and if I can go forward," he said.
"I feel better with every hour passing. The pain is still there, but I am in good hands. I am a hard man. I've had a lot of things happen this year.
"I have to look ahead to the next few hours and days to come to try to get the maximum potential of a good feeling in my body. Now I have to see how I sit on the bike.
"Maybe everything turns out okay. The mental aspect is important. I have two legs and I can ride. I have been training many, many hours for the Olympics. We will just have to see how it goes."
Swiss team doctor Andreas Goesele likened his injuries to whiplash and claimed doping regulations mean he has been able to prescribe limited painkillers.
While Cancellara sweats on his fitness, Wiggins has been staying in a luxury hotel in Surrey, enjoying a few five-star treats as he seeks to win his seventh Olympic medal – and fourth gold in a fourth Games appearance.
"Brad against the world when they’re all on their own, he can wrap that up," said team-mate David Millar.
"He’s got such incredible form and he’s in such good spirits. I think we’ll get our gold medal there."
One of Wiggins's other rivals will be fellow Brit Chris Froome, who played a supporting role to the 32-year old at the recent Tour de France, where they finished one-two on the podium.
But Froome admits he is feeling the pain from three weeks on the tour and Saturday's men's road race.
"At the moment, the tank is empty," said Froome, soon after Saturday's road race.
"I’ll be able to tell how I feel about the time trial when I wake up on Wednesday morning."
© Sportsbeat 2012