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Cycling preview: Cancellara eyes second medal
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14:00, August 12, 2008

Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara looks set to win his second medal at Beijing Olympics as he will start as one of the favorites for men's individual time trial race on Wednesday.

"Bronze is definitely a nice and unexpected surprise. It really takes a lot of pressure of me before the time trial since now I already have a medal to take home from here," said Cancellara, who won the bronze medal in the men's road race last Saturday.

Dubbed as "Spartacus", the two-time defending world champion has demonstrated his fitness and endurance in the hilly Beijing course last week.

"The course fits me. What I need to do now is just concentrate on the race. I believe I could add another medal to the list, hopely that could be a golden one," added Cancellara.

Having overcome Cancellara twice at the Tour, the 2008 tour de france winner Stefan Schumacher of Germany is hard to discount as a gold medal contender, even he pulled out of the men's road race two days ago.

As the highest placed rider from Athens to contest this year's Games, Michael Rogers of Australia will also pose some challenge for the Swissman.

However, Cancellara's main challenge might come from team Spain, of which Samuel Sanchez won the men's road race gold through team work.

This time, Spain will pin their hopes on Alberto Contador, who won this year's Giro de Italia.

As for the women's edition, after taking bronze in Athens four years ago, Cancella's compatriot Karin Thurig got the chance to prove herself in Beijing after wining the individual time trial at the recent Thuringen-Rundfahrt race in Germany.

Her main threats might come from the reigning time trial World Champion Hanka Kupfernagel of Germany, who has her whole year focused on repeating the world championship's performance in Beijing.

At the same time, Kristin Armstrong of United States and Christiane Soeder of Austria will pose some challenge to Thurig on the hilly course.

The cycling time trial race will take place on Aug. 13.


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