Cycling News


Cancellara back in familiar routine at E3 Harelbeke
March 27, 2015 (02:30) [ Indexed from ]
Speaking to reporters on the Via Roma after Milan-San Remo last weekend, Fabian Cancellara declared that the cobbled classics would be more open than they have been in years past, yet while the world around him seemingly changes, the Swiss riders approach remains unaltered. While most " though not all " of Cancellaras rivals have already sampled competitive action on the cobbles this season, Fridays E3 Harelbeke marks his first Belgian race of the year, though his Trek Factory Racing directeur sportif Dirk Demol does not anticipate any ring rustiness. After all, Cancellara has not lined up at Dwars door Vlaanderen since 2011 or at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad since 2008, yet has won E3 Harelbeke two more times in the intervening period. Its a way hes already followed for many years. He never wants to come to the opening weekend or Kuurne, he says I know all of this parcours, I know all of these roads, Demol told Cyclingnews in Harelbeke on Thursday. But I have to be honest: yesterday he did a 120km recon of the roads of the Tour of Flanders with Gregory [Rast] and Popo [Yaroslav Popovych], so he was on the cobbles. Together with the races this weekend, thats enough for him to prepare for Flanders and Roubaix. Hes never wanted to ride De Panne, for example, so hell just do Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem, and then we have Flanders, Scheldeprijs and Roubaix. Its already many years that hes followed the same programme, so he doesnt have to change. While the past two seasons yielded three Monument victories for Cancellara, his win rate elsewhere dropped notably, something he vowed to remedy on the eve of the 2015 season. He lived up to that pledge by landing stage wins at the Tour of Oman and Tirreno-Adriatico, and although his remarkable sequence of 12 successive podium finishes in the Monuments ended with his 7th place at Milan-San Remo, Demol believes Cancellara is coming to the boil as he arrives in Belgium. I think hes good at the right moment. He was sick at the end of Oman and he was five days off the bike after that because he had bronchitis and he had to take antibiotics, Demol said. He was suffering a bit still at Strade Bianche because of the loss of condition, but I saw him growing in Tirreno. Then in San Remo he was 7th in the sprint: he just waited one moment too long and was blocked, but I could see that there are signs that the condition is there. Even before Tom Boonens crash at Paris-Nice ruled him out of the spring classics, there were suggestions that this year could mark a changing of the guard after a decade of the Boonen-Cancellara duopoly dictating terms and conditions on the pav. Cancellaras last two classic wins have been sprints rather than processions, for instance, and challengers of a younger vintage " Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), in particular " have shown further signs of progress already this spring. There are more contenders and weve seen some strong teams, Demol said. BMC and Sky are very strong. Lotto has been good this year, you cant forget Peter Sagan, of course, and I have to mention Sep Vanmarcke: in Gent-Gent [Omloop] he was dominating. The absence of Boonen, of course, alters the landscape of the next two weeks of racing. It removes a redoubtable rival from the equation, but also means that his Etixx-QuickStep team will be less formulaic in its approach. For me Id prefer if Tom was here, because their tactics would be easier to understand: now its like trying to find it in the dark, Demol admitted. But either way, they have a super strong team " Zdenek Stybar, Niki Terpstra, Stijn Vandenbergh " all eight at the start can win the race. ADVERTISEMENT Devolder Cancellaras own classics unit has been bolstered by the arrival of Geert Steegmans this winter, while another former QuickStep man, Stijn Devolder, proved integral to his victory at the Tour of Flanders in 2013. Devolder crashed heavily in the finale of Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday, but did not suffer any broken bones and will line up at E3 Harelbeke. It was a nasty crash. I was most scared about his right scaphoid and there was also a big, big bump on his elbow, but he went to the hospital last night and the x-ray didnt show any fractures, Demol said. He did two hours on the bike this morning and afterwards he confirmed that he wanted to ride, so hes on the start tomorrow. Devolder also suffered a blow to his head in the crash, yet despite symptoms that sounded alarmingly like a concussion, he remounted his bike and rode to the finish in Waregem on Wednesday. Riders and teams associations have been in talks with the UCI over the introduction of an extreme weather protocol, though it is perhaps equally pressing that they discuss the implementation of a robust protocol on concussion. Just for a moment, he didnt really know what had happened. He was asking: Where is everybody? Where is everyone? But it was just for maybe half a minute. After that he continued on his bike and he was immediately ok, Demol said. For sure he hit his head and for a minute he didnt know what had happened. But he didnt have a headache afterwards and also this morning, I checked him more than once, and this afternoon I left him to make the choice. He will not be 100 percent tomorrow for sure, but if you miss races now its bad for Flanders. Im really happy hes ok and lets hope he stays out of trouble tomorrow. I advised Stijn that after such a nasty crash, we skip Harelbeke, but hes a tough guy. Subscribe to the Cyclingnews YouTube channel so you get all the videos first! You can read more at More...
Sprinters deny Cancellara second Milan-San Remo win
March 23, 2015 (17:30) [ Indexed from ]
Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) was in the mix at the end of Milan-San Remo but the 2008 winner couldn't match the top-end speed of some of the world's best sprinters and had to settle for a disappointing seventh. Giant-Alpecin's John Degenkolb took the win ahead of 2014 winner Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha) and Orica-GreenEdge fastman Michael Metthews. If you look ahead of me there are six world-class sprinters, and I am the first non-traditional sprinter, in a way, Cancellra said after the stage. I dont have the absolute instinct to find the right spot and to know when you can feel when someone is coming, and I got a little bit locked in on the right side. I made a mistake there and its disappointing because I had good legs. After the peloton dragged back a late attack by Sky's Geraint Thomas and BMC's Daniel Oss, Cancellara followed a move from Philippe Gilbert and nearly met with disaster when the BMC rider went down in a corner of the descent off the Poggio.ADVERTISEMENT I was also lucky I didnt crash because Philippe Gilbert crashed just in front of me in a corner and I almost went down, he said. Like I said you need a lot of luck and tactics to come together at the end. But Cancellara, who has been second or third in the race the past four years, avoided the crash that also took out 2013 winner Gerald Ciolek and Etixx-QuickStep contenders Zdenek Sytbar and Michal Kwiatkoswki. The big Swiss rider was well-positioned going into the finale, but the sprinters swept past him. I was in a really good place with 500 meters to go, but then the riders came from the left side and closed me, and like professional sprinters they would never open the door again, and that was my own luck, he said. You can read more at More...
Cancellara ready to turn back the clock at Milan-San Remo
March 20, 2015 (02:00) [ Indexed from ]
The sprinters traditionally dominate Milan-San Remo but Fabian Cancellara is again determined to have his say, despite turning 34 on Wednesday. Cancellara has been targeting the spring Classics since 2004 but it would be wrong to think he is past his best. Indeed he had his best winter in many years and is confident he will have yet another strong spring Classics campaign, starting on Sunday. The Swiss rider has already won a tough stage of the Tour of Oman " beating many of his Classics rivals, including Peter Sagan, in a sprint. On Tuesday he won the final time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico. When he sat down with the media to talk Milan-San Remo, he seemed more relaxed, more confident and more convinced of his form than he has for awhile.ADVERTISEMENT Im relaxed, why should I stress? Ive done what I needed to do before the season, he says, revealing there are several reasons. Of course I need to suffer and if Im not ready for that, then I wont go anywhere. But I think Ive got a different freshness this year. This is the second year of the team and so things are working easier. Bauke [Mollema] came in too. Last year I crashed and was sick after Christmas, I was two weeks behind schedule and its not easy to recover that time. I didnt want that and was motivated this winter. Fortunately I was ahead this year and so when I got sick after Oman, I could stay at home and relax. You can read more at More...
News shorts: Mollema susprised by Tirreno TT, Uran satisfied with third
March 19, 2015 (02:00) [ Indexed from ]
Mollema surprised by Tirreno time trial performance Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) rode an impressive final time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico, finishing 36 seconds behind the stage winner, and teammate, Fabian Cancellara. While it wasnt enough to strip Nairo Quintana (Movistar) of his leaders jersey, the Dutchman closed the gap to just 18 seconds and cemented his second place overall. I am tired, Mollema said. I didnt feel like I was going really well, but maybe thats the feeling you need. A flat TT like this is hard for me, but I am really happy that I kept second place. I didnt expect to be so close to Quintana, only 18 seconds in GC and thats really good; I am really satisfied with my level."ADVERTISEMENT His improvement in the time trial comes after joining Trek Factory racing over the winter, where he has been working on his ability against the clock, and seeing the fruits of his labours has spurred him on. We started working on my time trial in December and I am really happy with my position on the bike now, and with the bike itself, he explained. It gives me motivation to train harder and make another step this year, because you can see that if you do a good time trial you can really fight for the podium and fight for victories in the biggest races. Now I want to continue this in the other stage races, too. Uran runs out of gas in final Tirreno time trial You can read more at More...
Cancellara celebrates his birthday early with Tirreno-Adriatico TT win
March 18, 2015 (01:45) [ Indexed from ]
Fabian Cancellara gave himself an early and perhaps surprise birthday present by winning the final time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico. The Trek Factory Racing rider will turn 34 on Wednesday but seems to be successfully fighting back the years this season after an excellent winter of training, largely spent at home with his family, due to a mild Swiss winter. Cancellara seemed to fight his new time trial bike in the opening time trial in Lido di Camaiore last Wednesday and was beaten by younger rival Adriano Malori (Movistar). Despite complaining about racing in the snow on Sunday, the tough week at Tirreno-Adriatico has apparently done him good and left him on form just in time for his big block of monumental classics.ADVERTISEMENT Time trials perhaps no longer give me the motivation they once did, but today is my last day aged 33, so Ill be turning a page tomorrow. Its a little thing but it gave me a little extra motivation, and that allows me to find a bit more. It is the fruit of experience, Cancellara said in the post-race press conference. Id prefer not to go into what happened in the opening time trial, because I think there were too many mistakes, and if I start listing them, Ill never stop. Today, I managed not to make the same mistakes and todays performance is more representative of my level. I lost by five hundredths of a second that day. Im not saying that if I had ridden like this on day one, I would have won by 5 seconds, but it went well for me today. Cancellara likes to line up his goals and face them one by one. The questions quickly turned to Milan-San Remo. You can read more at More...
Quintana wins Tirreno-Adriatico, Cancellara takes stage (The Associated Press)
March 17, 2015 (21:30) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
Nairo Quintana won the Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday despite finishing well off the pace in the seventh and final stage, an individual time trial. Quintana, who was runner-up last year, finished 51st, 55 seconds behind stage winner Fabian Cancellara on the 10-kilometer (six-mile) course, but it was enough to take overall victory, 18 seconds ahead of Bauke Mollema. Rigoberto Uran was third overall, 31 seconds behind Quintana, who wore the leader's blue jersey since claiming it in a snowy uphill finish on Saturday. Cancellara, who lost out to Adriano Malori by one second in the opening time trial, won the final stage by four seconds over Malori. More...
Quintana wins Tirreno-Adriatico, Cancellara takes stage win
March 17, 2015 (17:00) [ Indexed from New Zealand Herald ]
SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO, Italy (AP) " Nairo Quintana has won the Tirreno-Adriatico despite finishing well off the pace of the quickest riders on the seventh and final stage, an individual time trial.Quintana, who was runner-up... More...
Quintana wins Tirreno-Adriatico, Cancellara takes stage win (The Associated Press)
March 17, 2015 (17:00) [ Indexed from Yahoo! Sports ]
SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO, Italy (AP) -- Nairo Quintana has won the Tirreno-Adriatico despite finishing well off the pace of the quickest riders on the seventh and final stage, an individual time trial. More...
Cancellara speaks out for the peloton after snow hits Tirreno-Adriatico
March 17, 2015 (01:15) [ Indexed from ]
The day after the snow-covered finish on Terminillo, the Tirreno-Adriatico peloton faced a long stage in heavy rain to Porto Sant Elpidio and the riders were still debating if it was right and safe to race in the snow and how bad weather conditions have to be before racing is suspended to protect their health. Riders were worried about their safety out on the road and about becoming ill before Milan-San Remo and the spring Classics. Several riders took to Twitter to vent their anger and posted photos of themselves after the stage to Terminillo. Others tried to find a smile for Mondays long stage in the rain. If there is a silver lining to the pain and suffering of racing the final part of Sundays stage in the snow, it is that the debate about introducing an Extreme Weather Protocol has now become more urgent and more important, especially for the riders. The conditions at the 1675m high finish at Terminillo were tough but similar to those riders had experienced other times during the Giro dItalia and in other spring races. The overall contenders raced in heavy snow for just the final two kilometres and were able to quickly reach their team buses parked 500m away.ADVERTISEMENT The rest of the peloton faced a tougher ordeal and spent more time under the heavy snow, which covered the roads in the final 10 minutes of the stage. One rider told Cyclingnews that the gruppetto containing many of the sprinters and domestiques, which finished more than 20 minutes behind stage winner Nairo Quintana, were forced to ride in the heavy snow for the final six kilometres of the climb. They became cold because they were unable to climb out of the saddle due to their wheel slipping in the snow. Italian riders Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) and Luca Paolini (Katusha) are the senators of the Italian gruppo and expressed their anger via Twitter. You can read more at More...
Cancellara successfully defends time trial title
March 16, 2015 (18:30) [ Indexed from ]
Swiss Fabian Cancellara has successfully defended his World Time Trial Championship, clocking an unbeatable time in Stuttgart. Laszlo Bodrogi and Stef Clement took silver and bronze respectively. More...
Cancellara fights his way to fifth in Tirreno-Adriatico sprint
March 13, 2015 (21:00) [ Indexed from ]
Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) stopped just after the finish line of stage 3 of Tirreno-Adriatico in Arezzo to take a long drink from his bottle and try to wash away the lactic acid in his huge legs and the disappointment of missing out on victory in the hectic uphill sprint. Cancellara finished fifth behind winner Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), as the best Classics riders in the peloton flexed their muscles. While the cobbled Classics do not finish with a similar uphill sprint on rough paved roads, the Arezzo finale was like fighting for the sweet spot approaching a key climb in the Tour of Flanders or the decisive sector of pav in Paris-Roubaix. Pride was also at stake as the days count down to the big Classics. These are my competitors for the Classics but it was a bit tricky. I wanted to have a try to see, but it was such big chaos in the end, and I did what I could, Cancellara explained in English, revealing he was caught too far back and had to make a big effort to get back up to the front.ADVERTISEMENT Popo (Yaroslav Popovych) did a big turn, and Stijn too, to bring me from 2km to 1km and I paid for that. When you can stay at the front its different to when you have to move up. I came from far behind and took a big risk but some how I was there and survived to get fifth place. Cancellara managed to fight himself close to the front as the riders eased but he was always behind Van Avermaet, Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) as they opened up their sprints. There was no room left for him to try to push through and take a clear line to the finish. I was there but on the steep ramp it was getting a bit slower, so I was blocked and I couldnt really go right or left. In the end its okay like this. It was a tricky finale, and I gave it my best shot. You can read more at More...
Video: Trek train ahead of Tirreno-Adriatico
March 11, 2015 (00:00) [ Indexed from ]
Ride along with Trek Factory Racing's Tirreno-Adriatico squad as they train before the seven-day Italian race that starts Wednesday with an individual time trial. Trek is hoping Fabian Cancellara can get his second victory of 2015 during the 5.7km opening test, which has replaced the team time trial that was originally planned.Cancellara won a stage at the Tour of Oman but has revealed he was sick after returning home. He is a four-time former world time trial champion but has not won a time trial since the 2013 Vuelta a Espana. The team's general classification hopes rest with co-leadersBauke Mollema and Julian Arredondo.ADVERTISEMENT Trek Factory Racing for Tirreno-Adriatico:Fabian Cancellara,Julin Arredondo,Stijn Devolder,Markel Irizar Aranburu,Bauke Mollema,Yaroslav Popovych,Hayden Roulston,Jesse Sergent. To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel click here. You can read more at More...
Cancellara and Sagan chasing stage victories at Tirreno-Adriatico
March 10, 2015 (20:00) [ Indexed from ]
Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) attended the Tirreno-Adriatico pre-race press conference on Tuesday alongside Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). While the latter trio are set to fight for overall success, Sagan and Cancellara are chasing stage victories and looking to clock up a week of quality racing miles as their final preparation for Milan-San Remo and other spring Classics. Cancellara was expecting to play a support role in the opening team time trial, doing huge turns on the front to help team leaders Bauke Mollema and Julian Arredondo gain some time on their overall rivals. However, last week a windstorm left hundreds of pine trees in the roads of Lido di Camaiore, forcing race organisers to scrap the 22.7km team time trial. The opening stage is now a 5.7km individual time trial and Cancellara will be riding to win. The only other time trial specialist at Tirreno-Adriatico are Italys Adriano Malori (Movistar) and Australian duo Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge) but Cancellara knows that the sprinters could also excel on the short, flat course on the seafront. Cancellara won a stage at the Tour of Oman but has revealed he was sick after returning home. He is a four-time former world time trial champion but has not won a time trial since the 2013 Vuelta a Espana. Now Im racing on my own and so Ive got a chance, rather than helping the team in the team time trial, Cancellara said. Its very short. Ive clearly got a chance (of success) but there are other riders who can do well. With it being so short, theyve probably got a higher chance. Ive got to change my mentality from a team time trial role but Im used to doing that. Cancellara made a special effort to thank race organisers RCS Sport for thinking of rider safety and changing the race route. His thought also turned to Classics rival Tom Boonen, who crashed out of Paris-Nice on Monday and will miss the Classics due to a shoulder injury. I didnt see the crash but I heard he crashed hard. Hes a rival but also a person and that comes first for me, so its a real pity it happened to him, Cancellara said. He doesnt deserve it. Hes had bad crashes in the past and didnt deserve this. I feel bad for him. Its not nice. Id prefer that hes on his bike and riding the races, especially the Classics, for tactics and other reasons. I naturally wish him well during his recovery.Sagan looking for first win with Tinkoff-Saxo Peter Sagan is still to get off the mark in 2015 and has still to win while riding for Tinkoff-Saxo. But he shrugged off any suggestion he is under pressure and insisted his form is good. Sagan went on the attack during Saturdays Strade Bianche race but was dropped from the group that went on to fight for victory. He finished 31st, 5:13 behind winner Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep). It was such a hard race, the first hard race of the season, Sagan argued. When I attacked, perhaps I was thinking I was stronger than I really was. Now well see what happens at Tirreno-Adriatico. My forms good but weve got to see how I feel. Sagan won in Arezzo at last years Tirreno-Adriatico, after winning a stage at the Tour of Oman. However, a repeat win in Arezzo will not be easy. The stage again ends with five laps of an 11km circuit around the city, including five climbs up to the finish in the ancient city centre. Sagan could also have a chance in the sprint stages, including stage two to Cascina, but he will have to beat the likes of Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep), Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling), Sam Bennett (Bora Argon 18), Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) and Luka Mezgec (Giant-Alpecin). But he said he is ready to give it a go on every stage, including Wednesdays opening time trial. Im here to try from tomorrow and so well see how it goes, he said.ADVERTISEMENT You can read more at More...
Cancellara left with little reward after huge effort at Strade Bianche
March 07, 2015 (19:45) [ Indexed from ]
Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) was mobbed by the Italian crowd after reaching the finish of Strade Bianche in Siena but stayed hunched over his handlebars as he tried to recover from his huge effort. Cancellara was hoping for a third victory at Strade Bianche but three punctures and the strong winds left him tired and unable to stay with the leaders when Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) forced an important selection. He fought to limit his losses, chasing hard all the way to Siena with Daniel Oss (BMC) but slipped back and was eventually caught by a chasing group. He cracked on the steep climb to Siena and finished 19th, 1:26 behind winner Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep).ADVERTISEMENT That was hard, he said after raising his head and taking a long swig from a bottle. It was expected but the wind made it even harder and very, very, dangerous. I think Im very lucky to have stayed up. I saw a lot of crashes. I punctured in three bad moments and that cost me but thats racing. I ran out of legs in the last 500 metres. Cancellara rode the Challenge Mallorca races before travelling to the Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman. He has already racked up 16 days of racing but admitted his form has taken a step backwards after becoming sick when he returned home to Switzerland. You can read more at More...
Start line notes from Strade Bianche
March 07, 2015 (19:45) [ Indexed from ]
A stellar field was on display this morning at the start of Strade Bianche in San Gimignano with Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo), Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) all in attendance. The race, now in its ninth edition, features 50km of iconic white roads, spread over 10 sectors, with high winds set to play a huge part in the eventual outcome. At the start of the race Cyclingnews caught up with Peter Sagan, twice second - including last year " in the race.ADVERTISEMENT Its a nice day, he told reporters as he came away from the rider sign-in. We have a really strong team and well see how the race goes. Its always windy, and there was a lot wind in Qatar and Oman. Strade Bianche start list Race preview Previous winners One of Sagans principle rivals for the Spring Classics, and a two-time winner of the race, Fabian Cancellara, lined up for the race after recovering from a recent illness. The Swiss rider has started the season in strong fashion with a win already under his belt from the time trial stage at the Tour of Qatar. Like Sagan, he will target Milan-San Remo and the cobbles Classics but Strade Bianche will offer both riders, and a number of their rivals, an indication of form. You can read more at More...
Majka poised for GC showdown in Oman
February 19, 2015 (11:30) [ Indexed from ]
Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) solidified his place at theTour of Oman Wednesday with a seventh-place finish during the stage 2 finale, moving into 11th overall before the Green Mountain stage on Friday. Majka is just six seconds behind general classification rival Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who sits second overall after coming in as runner-up behind Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing). Two steep uphills in the closing kilometres sparked multiple attacks and a blistering pace that whittled the final front group down to just 19 riders that finished 50 seconds ahead of the field. Tinkoff's Peter Sagan was fifth on the stage. GC contenders Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Team Katusha) lost time to the leaders.ADVERTISEMENT It was tough finish, said Tinkoff director Sean Yates. The peloton caught the breakaway in the absolute finale after hammering over the first of the two finishing climbs. It really put a large part of the field under severe pressure, and the peloton was split on the second climb as the favorites started attacking. Peter and Rafal received great support from the team and did what they had to in following these attacks. Yates said he was especially pleased with Majka's performance. Its his second day of racing in 2015, which shows how well he has prepared. Its important for the overall classification as several GC favorites were dropped today. Majka came to his first race of the season from a team training camp in Tenerife after riding throughout the winter on his home roads in Poland. He said the camps focused on building a strong base for the season, and the early preparation appears to have paid off in Oman. You can read more at More...
Cancellara overcomes illness to take stage victory at Tour of Oman
February 19, 2015 (11:30) [ Indexed from ]
Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) had to dig deep for his victory at the Tour of Oman. The Swiss rider and former champion came to Oman suffering with a cold that was still making it difficult for him to breathe. It didn't show though when he managed to outpace both Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) on the short climb to the finish line. "It was a long sprint and a nice sprint so I gave everything I could all the way until the end," a delighted Cancellara said at the finish of stage 2. "It's not every day that you get a chance to be up there and it's already many years that in this type of finish I was there but I never had a chance. I am really satisfied." After expressing his disappointment at only securing three victories last season, although one of those was the Tour of Flanders, a victory this early in the season will be a boon to Cancellara's psyche. It will also be a warning shot to his rivals who may have hoped that he was winding down towards retirement. With the cobbled classics beginning just a week after the Tour of Oman finishes, Cancellara hopes that the victory will help him towards success at the bigger races to come. "I saw already in Qatar that I'm good and I tried to keep it going. I want to achieve the highest and we only have a few weeks left to do that," he explained. "This is a small step towards the big ones because only thinking about the big ones is not a good thing. That is what I did for many years - I still want the big ones but I didn't want the small ones. Now I am trying to go from the big ones to the small ones."ADVERTISEMENT Cancellara is expected to retire at the end of 2016 and says that he isn't just going to roll around, happy to still be in the peloton. "I just want to get into the flow of racing and not just be in the race. I want to be there, which means that your head is switched on and you give your best with the team because you never know when it's over. I know that in a few years it will be over so I want to try and enjoy it." Despite still suffering the effects of the cold, Cancellara told his teammates that he was ready to try and contest the stage, as they passed through the feed zone just past the halfway point. "When you focus on concentrating you forget your breathing, you just push pedals as fast as you can," he said. "It was tough because somehow I felt I was leaving my lungs on the side of the road. "When you go full gas and you don't have 100% respiration then it is not easy but in the end I said hey we'll see how it goes'. It was a short and intense effort and with the power I have I thought I could probably go over it and in the end it was just like this but the best climbers could still come back." You can read more at More...
Cancellara says he is still learning how to be a leader
February 15, 2015 (16:30) [ Indexed from ]
Fabian Cancellara was not satisfied with his 2014 season. It started out well with his third Tour of Flanders victory, but went downhill from there. And, he has admitted, he is still learning how to be a good team leader at Trek Factory Racing. Cancellara is unhappy that he didnt finish any of the summer stage races he rode in 2014 as he prepared for the world road race championships, where he finished a disappointing eleventh in the road race after struggling in the wet conditions. Going into a race knowing that I will leave it early " that is not good. It is not good for my motivation, not good for my image, he told in a revealing interview from the Tour of Qatar. And it is not good for the team. It is not a good signal when the leader abandons, even when there is a reason.ADVERTISEMENT He is determined to live up to is role of team leader. I am the leader of Team Trek. I am one of the reasons this team exists, he acknowledged. However being a good leader is not necessarily about winning, Cancellara said. He is seeking to better himself by being a good example in ways other than success. For example in training camp. When the leader arrives and is grouchy, when he is always too late at the meeting point and the last on the climb " then that works negatively on the team," he explained. But when the leader is fit and the first on the climb, when the others have to chase him because he is so unbelievably fit " then he is an example. You can read more at More...
Eight wildcards announced for Tour of Flanders
February 13, 2015 (14:30) [ Indexed from ]
The organisers of the Tour of Flanders have announced the eight wild-card invitations for the 2015 race. The Professional Continental teams will join the 17 WorldTour teams, making a total of 25 teams in the race to be held April 5. MTN-Qhubeka, Bora-Argon18, Androni-Giocattoli and Team Roompot all got the nod, as did the two French teams Cofidis and Europcar. They will be joined by the two Belgian ProConti teams, Wanty-Groupe Gobert and Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise. The race runs 264.2 kilometers from its start in Bruges Market. Riders can expect many sections of cobblestones, including three trips up the cobbled Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg in the finishing circuit. There are 19 climbs all together before the finish in Oudenaarde.ADVERTISEMENT Last year's race -- as in 2013 and 2012 " was won by Fabian Cancellara. He has indicated that he might retire immediately if he would win either Paris-Roubaix or the Tour of Flanders again this year. Wildcard teams for the Tour of Flanders: Topsport Vlaanderen " Baloise, Wanty " Groupe Gobert, Cofidis Solutions Crdit, Team Europcar, Bora-Argon 18, Androni Giocattoli, Team Roompot and MTN " Qhubeka. You can read more at More...
Cancellara could retire straight after another Classic win
February 12, 2015 (13:45) [ Indexed from ]
With his existing contract set to expire at the end of next season, Fabian Cancellara has strongly hinted that will retire in 2016. However, he may hang up his wheels sooner if he finds the perfect moment to step aside. That could come with a Monument win this season or the next. "It could be, it could be and it's my decision," he told the press at the Tour of Qatar when asked if he could bow out straight after winning an edition of Paris-Roubaix or the Tour of Flanders this year or next. "It's my decision and no one else can make it. I've been a pro since 2000 but I'm still motivated and I'm still here. The level is still here and I've been on this level since 2006 and every year I can still achieve a big goal or a big race."ADVERTISEMENT "Nothing is planned, I have a contract that ends in 2016 but I've said that I want to stop on the highest level. It could be this year, it could be next year." Cancellara is one of the most decorated Classics riders of all-time with three Tours of Flanders, three Paris-Roubaix crowns, and a Milan-Sano Remo title in his palmares. At 33 he is still considered to be at the peak of his one-day powers although his mantle as the world's best time trialist has slipped in recent years. According the Trek Factory Racing captain, his outlook for the remaining time of his career is based on having a balanced set of objectives but also a back-to-basics approach. You can read more at More...

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