Fabian Cancellara sets personal flat road record speed of 81.5 km/h at Qatar
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fabian Cancellara sets personal flat road record speed of 81.5 km/h at Qatar

by Jered Gruber at 12:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Violent winds allow World Time Trial Champion to set a new best

Fabian CancellaraYesterday's first road stage of the Tour of Qatar was one of the more extreme days of racing at the race in quite some time.

Vicious winds immediately wrenched the field apart, and echelons formed within the first kilometer of racing.

The major Classics players were mostly accounted for at the front of the race, including the preeminent rider of them all at the moment, Fabian Cancellara.

It was plain to see that speeds were high - 54.8 kilometers were covered in the first hour of racing - but it wasn't clear just how high they were until Cancellara tweeted after the stage that he had set a new flat road record for himself.

"Wind…wind…wind…from the front, side, back…I beat my record on the flat today 81.5 km/h. Happy I was in the front group."

Cancellara's admission that 81.5 was his highest speed ever on flat roads is interesting and likely meant in the context of racing only. Philippe Gilbert and teammate Adam Blythe recently debated over what was fast and what wasn't in Mallorca - and the numbers they noted were significantly higher than Cancellara's paltry 81.5.

Gilbert managed 119 km/h on a team car in Mallorca at training camp. Gilbert was dismissive of his own effort and said that he could do "140 km/h easily." His teammate and young sprinter, Adam Blythe, was equally dismissive of Gilbert's efforts.

"It was a descent. That doesn't count. The official [team] record? 117 km/h on flat roads. I did that."

Taking out drafting off of cars, 81.5 km/h on flat roads is mind-numbingly fast considering that most of us are pretty keen to see 80 flash on the computer screen on a descent. They're not messing around in Qatar.


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