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Although Fabian Cancellara said on the day he left the Tour de France that it was quite possibly his final participation in the event, his Trek Factory Racing team has confirmed that the Swiss rider might yet still line out in the event next season.
Cancellara took yellow after stage two to Zeeland but crashed heavily the next day and lost yellow on the Mur de Huy. He was a non starter the following day, having suffered fractures to his lower spine.
He is working hard on his recovery and is expected to return to racing before the end of the year.
It was the second such big disappointment for the Swiss rider this season, with a similar crash early on leading to the same sort of injury and forcing him out of the Classics.
Cancellara has already said that 2016 will likely be his last season. However, according to Trek Factory Racing spokesman Tim Vanderjeugd, he is unlikely to walk away once the Classics are over.
“The plan is to do the entire season. He has definitely got his mind set on the Olympics because it is such an incredible experience,” he said.
“So I don’t think he will pull the plug before the Olympics. We will see how his shape is. But the plan is to do a full year.”
As regards the Tour, Vanderjeugd said the Swiss rider may yet return.
“I think what he said is it is possibly his last Tour. He didn’t say it was his last one,” he stated. “But it is something that he is playing with in his mind for next year. Maybe he does a completely different programme. We will need to see. Maybe once the Classics are over he does a couple of races he has never done in his life.
“He has never done the Tour of the Basque Country. He has never done Paris-Nice either.
“Those are interesting races. I think his programme all the way to the Classics won’t change. Then a lot can happen, especially with a guy like him.”
Cancellara has clocked up eight stage wins and 29 yellow jerseys during his Tour career.