Cancellara aiming to extend record of Strade Bianche wins
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Saturday, March 02, 2013

Cancellara aiming to extend record of Strade Bianche wins

by Shane Stokes at 7:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Montepaschi Strade Bianche
 
“I’ve been super focused for this race and the upcoming targets for my program”

Fabian CancellaraAlready victorious in 2008 and again last year, Fabian Cancellara has the chance to extend his record of wins in the prestigious Strade Bianche event today, and is determined to seize his chance.

The big Swiss rider has fully recovered from a tough 2012 season when he crashed out of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, shattering his collarbone, then crashed out once more in the Olympic road race. The latter dented his morale badly and he ultimately ended his season early, but has worked hard in recent months and is back in strong form.

“I love the terrain here. It’s really made for strong guys and it suits me well,” Cancellara said prior to the race. “It’s tough and long so you have to hang in there but that’s something I really like. Plus my father is Italian so I have Italian roots and love racing here. Tuscany is special with the great foods and wines.”

Although the Strade Bianche features white gravel roads rather than cobbles, there are similarities with Paris-Roubaix and the Ronde van Vlaanderen, two races he has won in the past, due to the demands the course makes on bike handling and staying upright.

In addition to being one of the strongest riders in the peloton, Cancellara is also one of the most skilful and he will draw on that today.

He’s been quietly getting ready for the Classics season thus far in 2013, with fifteenth on stage three of the Tour of Oman the closest he’s got to a win. However that’s not a reflection of modest form, but rather biding his time and waiting for key events. Today is the first of those.

“After the Tour of Oman, I went to Mallorca to train more since the weather was better than in Switzerland, although it was cold there as well,” he said, explaining what he has done lately. “I’ve been super focused for this race and the upcoming targets for my program.”

The RadioShack Leopard rider has an additional incentive to win today, with the organisers saying that if a rider takes the race three times, that they will have a sector of gravel roads named after them. Given that Cancellara is the only two-time winner, he’s the only rider in reach of that distinction today.

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