Cancellara heaps praise on his team after Milan-Sanremo third place
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cancellara heaps praise on his team after Milan-Sanremo third place

by Kyle Moore at 4:07 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Milan-Sanremo
 
Swiss powerhouse grabs third consecutive race podium

Fabian CancellaraFabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Leopard) rode to third place in an instantly-classic Milan-Sanremo, and he was quick to credit his team-mates for helping him to his spot on the podium. Cancellara’s third place marked the third consecutive year he has finished on the Milan-Sanremo podium, after taking second in both 2012 and 2011.

Cancellara was Milan-Sanremo champion in 2008.

In a race full of cold, snow, and truly deplorable conditions, Cancellara found himself in the select group of six that would sprint out the finish. Unlike last year, when Cancellara sprung the winning move and pulled two riders to the finish, Cancellara followed moves by Ian Stannard (Sky Procycling), Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), and Peter Sagan that helped establish the group of six. Although Cancellara’s own attack on the Poggio drew out Sagan and helped set up his podium finish.

With a mid-race break to avoid snow-covered roads, and 65 riders retiring before the finish, Cancellara admitted that he too thought about packing it in during the truly unique edition of the Italian monument.

“Such a strange race. Before the feed zone I thought I was going to have to stop because I was freezing,” the Swiss rider said on the team website. “Then I went back to the car, changed my gloves, got renewed confidence and motivation from the car and kept going.”

Cancellara’s lone team-mate in the main finishing peloton was Grégory Rast, but the third place finisher credited his team-mates with keeping him where he needed to be.

“It was a really great team effort,” he added. “They were warriors. I didn’t expect to finish so well in this race. I had some bad moments today so I’m happy with third place. In fact, I’m happy to be at the finish at all. Ciolek won but everyone is a hero today.

“We’ve seen so many races cancelled recently because of snow, and then today we had to drive around the Turchino in the bus because of snow. I had a number of problems today, namely that I didn’t eat enough after the restart. I would like to have gone to sleep in the bus, but of course that wasn’t possible. We had a plan this morning and I’m one of the leaders of the team so I wanted to finish this. Everyone has done a great job today. Everyone can go home and be a bit of a winner today.”

With the mid-race break where riders took to the busses to warm up, it would have been difficult to summon the motivation to saddle back up at the restart. Some, such as Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), did not. But Radioshack-Leopard director Dirk Demol said it was never a question amongst his riders.

“Usually it’s difficult to keep the riders motivated on a day like today but I’ll say ‘bravo’ to the entire team,” Demol complimented. “We didn’t have to push them on the restart – they were ready. This race was a big objective for the team and has always been a goal, so we didn’t have to remind them what this meant. We wanted to go for the win with Fabian. He’s probably a little bit behind where he was last year but we could see in Tirreno that his form is coming right along.

“We also had confidence that [Yaroslav Popovich], Rast and Maxime [Monfort] could play a part in the final. They were all there. The plan was to give Fabian the maximum support and they did a great job. We were counting on him to try something and he didn’t disappoint us. Here he is on the podium behind two sprinters that were just faster than him. Well done.”

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