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Three-time road world time trial champion Michael Rogers says he may take a year out from the event to regain his "hunger" after finishing eighth in this year's championship in Salzburg yesterday. The Australian finished 2.32 down on title-winner Fabian Cancellara.
"My plan was to go out relatively controlled and it would have been ideal not to lose that amount of time (in the first 10 kilometres), but at the end of the day I didn't have the top end I've had for the last couple of years," Rogers said, adding with a wry laugh. "I tried to peg it back but lost more - it was a hard day."
Rogers, who finished tenth overall in this year's Tour de France despite being a workhorse for T-Mobile team leader Andreas Klden, admits he felt the pressure of his own and the cycling world's expectations coming into the Worlds, but gave it all he had. "I didn't have the best day but I went the hardest and the best I could, it was just the other guys were stronger," he said. "I'm a little bit disappointed but I can't be too ashamed of myself... life goes on.
"I had quite a good rest after the Tour and my condition was good leading into here, but I think I'm just going to take a year out next year from the time trial and get some real hunger back," explained Rogers, who has Beijing Olympic gold as his goal. "Maybe I took it for a little bit for granted, the whole thing, and maybe if I take a year out now (I can) get my motivation back for the next year."
Cycling Australia's Neil Stephens believes Rogers' Tour effort might have had more of an impact than the 26 year old is willing to admit. "We're a little bit disappointed but I suppose we knew that Michael had had a really solid Tour de France where he was obliged to help his team leader," said Stephens. "That meant he went a bit deeper than he has in other years.
"Having said that, his preparation was pretty optimal coming up to Worlds but unfortunately you don't know how it's going to fall into place until race day. Although he wasn't bad - he wasn't in super shape which you had to be to be on the podium."
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