Fabian Cancellara Will Head to London with Olympic Newbies

Michael Hatamoto@MhatamotoContributor IIIJune 20, 2012

BEIJING - AUGUST 13:  (M) Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland wins the gold medal as he poses with (L) Gustav Larsson of Sweden who won the silver and (R) Levi Leipheimer of the United States who took the bronze medal in the men's individual time trial final at the Road Cycling Course during Day 5 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 13, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Fabian Cancellara will lead the Swiss Olympic road cycling team in July, serving as the most experienced and highest-skilled rider on the squad.

Instead of focusing on time trials in the Tour de France, Cancellara hopes he’ll peak in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics time trials.  He won a gold medal during time trials of the Beijing Olympics and is expected to be a favorite yet again.

Joining him on the Swiss team will be Olympics newcomer Michael Albasini, a 31-year-old veteran riding for Team Orica-GreenEDGE.

Helping Cancellara during the road race—which he won a silver medal in during Beijing—will be Gregory Rast, Martin Elmiger and Michael Schär.  Rast is a domestique on Team RadioShack-Nissan-Trek.  Elmiger currently rides for Ag2r-La Mondiale, and Schär is a rider for Team BMC.

Cancellara fractured his collarbone during the Tour of Flanders, but has re-found his form during the Tour de Suisse, where he finished second in the prologue and second during the time trial.  He’ll be a marked man on the road course, so it’s going to be difficult to power away without drawing major attention from other rivals.

I expect him to medal in both disciplines, but which medal he receives will depend on his recovery from the collarbone injury that ended his classics season.