Cancellara misses out on goal of rainbow jersey: ‘I’m not super happy about this’
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Monday, September 30, 2013

Cancellara misses out on goal of rainbow jersey: ‘I’m not super happy about this’

by Shane Stokes at 4:07 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
 
Solid rather than spectacular showing from Swiss captain

Fabian CancellaraHe made clear that he wanted to win the world title, missing the Tour de France in order to have what he would believe a better buildup for the event, but in the end Fabian Cancellara had to accept finishing nine places back from the rainbow jersey.

The big Swiss rider performed well to drag his bulk over the hills on a very tough Firenze course but, while he was there heading into the finale and looked like a threat, he had nothing more to give when the lighter climbers ramped up the pace on the long Fiesole climb. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spain) and Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) forced the pace there and shattered the group behind; Cancellara was one of those scattered backwards and in that moment his chances of victory were lost.

“It was a strange race,” he reflected afterwards, thinking of the apocalyptic weather and the resulting chaotic day in the saddle. “There were so many crashes and I have to say I’m very happy I wasn’t involved in any of them. My goal was to win and I come away with nothing, but I did my best and that’s how it goes in sport.”

Cancellara has taken four world time trial titles and made clear earlier this year that adding a rainbow jersey from the road race to that was his big career goal. He said that he was no longer as motivated to dominate the time trials and although the Firenze course was a very hilly one, he knew that his solid showing in taking fifth on the tough Mendrisio circuit four years ago showed he could perform on lumpy courses.

He did everything he could in recent months to be at a peak for the race, and a solid third in the TT championships – despite prioritising the road race – suggested he was in good shape.

However things simply didn’t work out as he planned yesterday, and he rolled in as part of a group sprinting for sixth place, 34 seconds back.

“I’m not super happy about this. Maybe later I can put it in better perspective. When I saw the climbers start to go, I didn’t have the energy to go with them,” he conceded. “I’m pretty worn out now and I look forward to a holiday with my family.”

He has one small consolation; twelve months ago he had ended his season early, frustrated by the injuries which had hit him at key points of the year. This time round, his health is good and he is motivated, putting him in a better position for the long months of winter training and then the spring Classics.

“Looking back, this was a very nice season,” he said, thinking of victories such as the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, the E3 Harelbeke and his TT stage win in the Vuelta a España. “When I look back to this time last year and where I was, then compare that to now, I can be very happy.”

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