Cancellara fired up for 2013, believes better luck lies ahead
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Monday, December 17, 2012

Cancellara fired up for 2013, believes better luck lies ahead

by VeloNation Press at 7:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
Swiss rider determined to bounce back after injuries and misfortune

Fabian CancellaraHe had a season that was so frustrating that he decided to call it quits back in August, even at the cost of missing the world time trial championships, but Fabian Cancellara has recovered from that disappointment and has his natural optimism back for 2013. It’s a season where he believes he can turn things around, once again chasing victory in the Classics and in other races too.

“I had the crash in the Tour of Flanders,” he told Radio Mana Mana Sport, looking back at what was a very up and down year. “Then I began to get competitive in the Tour and Olympics. There was the birth of my son. There are so many things that happened, both positive and negative, so it was a busy year full of events.”

His crash in Flanders saw his collarbone fracture in several places, ruining his spring Classics campaign. He recovered to win the Tour de France prologue, then later left the race early in order to prepare for the Olympic Games. However what looked like a possible win in the road race was derailed when he fell heavily close to the finish, and the resulting injuries scuppered his chances of taking the time trial gold.

Demoralised, he ended his season early but has now recovered his motivation. He is convinced that things will be better in the months ahead. “I am sure to come back stronger in 2013. In recent months I have seen and heard a lot of negative things, but also many good things and the latter gives me the morale to go fast,” the Swiss rider said.

Cancellara is currently working hard at the Canary islands, where the RadioShack Nissan team is getting ready for the season. He suggests the mood of the team is recovering after what was a very stressful year, caused in part by the friction generated by the arrival of Johan Bruyneel. The Belgian, who faces an arbitration hearing in the New Year over serious charges of doping his riders, clashed with Cancellara, the Schleck brothers and others, and his departure is seen by many as a good sign for the season to come.

“Now the team has a new technical direction and I'm sure we can do well,” he said, reflecting on those management changes and what they will mean for RadioShack Nissan. “I and the team are on the same path: we both want to win. This is the same thing that Luca Guercilena wants and this is very important.

“I was very sorry to lose an important man like Bennati, but this is our job, and every year there is something different. However we strengthened things with Devolder and Hondo, and with them we have two great cards we can play.”

Cancellara will hope that both will be in good shape for the spring Classics, where he will try to once again win Paris-Roubaix and the Ronde Van Vlaanderen.

The ambition of clocking up what would be his second victory in the latter will depend on how he deals with the revised route, which was changed last season. If he manages to win, it will have a special significance after his misfortune of last April.

“The Tour of Flanders is a very tough race. Last year [2012 – ed.] I could not see the difficulty of the course right to the finish. I am very curious to find out next year. I want to play my card and this thought makes me very motivated.”

Before then, Milan-Sanremo will also be a big target. He won the race in 2008 and was the strongest rider in 2012, but was outmanoeuvred by Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge), who beat him to the line.

Cancellara will once again make the race a target, but admits to a little concern about the change in dates. The race will be one day later than usual, moving from Saturday to Sunday, and this disrupts the programme that he has followed in other years.

“Tirreno-Adriatico ends on Tuesday and until Sunday there is a lot of rest before Sanremo,” he explained. “This is not the best. You could move the end of Tirreno and shorten the gap between one race and another.”

However he also knows that each of the riders will face the same situation, and that the strongest riders will ultimately have the same opportunities to win. “If I win the Sanremo, it is of little importance if it is being run on Saturday or Sunday. When you win, everything is fine.”


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