Paris-Roubaix: Fabian Cancellara too strong for his own good
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Paris-Roubaix: Fabian Cancellara too strong for his own good

by VeloNation Press at 1:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
Happy with performance, will wait to decide his future with the race later

Fabian CancellaraFabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) came into Paris-Roubaix today with a target on his back.  With his performances in the E3-Prijs and the Tour of Flanders, the man from Bern, Switzerland had already demonstrated he possessed the form of a year ago where he destroyed the competition easily pull of the Roubaix/Flanders double with solo attacks.  The man who earned the nickname Spartacus for his heroics on the bike, thinks his strength caused the other favorites to throw away a chance at victory.

“Personally I think yes," he said in a press conference after the finish.  "Personally I don’t think they were thinking of the victory today; they were thinking ‘okay, with him I don’t want to ride’, but I think after last week I would think maybe today things could be changed, because in this race you never know what’s going to happen after the next kilometre; after the next sector of cobbles…”

Despite being marked out of a chance to win his third Paris-Roubaix, Cancellara was happy to see an unexpected and deserving domestique stand above him on the podium.

“I think to have a winner like Johan [Van Summeren] is great for cycling, great for this day; it had a lot of drama, a lot of spectacle," he explained.  "He maybe woke up this morning and thought: ‘I’m going to ride for the team, I’m going to help,’ but in the end he won this race and that’s just amazing, and I’m really happy for him.”

Not only was he happy to see the Belgian have success, but the Leopard Trek rider was also pleased with his own performance considering the circumstances.

“I’m happy for myself, to be again as the top favourite, again on the podium; I came second, in a way it’s a victory missing but I can’t change it; it’s not possible that I change it, to have a third leg to maybe push me more, but I gave everything that I had and I guess I’m happy,” he reflected.

VeloNation's Ben Atkins compared the strength of Garmin-Cervélo squad to his own Leopard Trek team, and questioned whether things could have been different if Cancellara had more help.

"The race, first of all, was full-gas until [the finish], I mean there was no rest, I was even searching for a moment where I could stop for a pee in the final," he said.

"It was six hours again today, and my team did what they could and I think that when you look at the favourites, Garmin was the team that was the strongest team.  I don’t think we should have to search for clues; when you look at BMC, they also had a super strong team, a large strong team, and Garmin had the same and they just played their card, they just played it smart, and now they’ve got the victory that they were, for sure searching a long, long time, because I think the other races they’ve been racing didn’t [happen] as well as today.

"Sometimes you can’t change things, you just have to take it like it is, because when you have situations like that you do the best that you can," Cancellara continued.

When the question was asked whether race winner Johan Van Summeren was the strongest rider, he tipped his hat to the Belgian for putting in a ride that will now define his cycling career.

"I know that he was strong today, but maybe it’s easier to do the race when you’re in front.  When you’re at the back it’s either full-gas, or calm, or full-gas, or calm," he said.  "I was looking for a solution, the gap was 1’20”, then it came back to one minute, and of course Van Summeren played his cards right again today.

"I can’t really say Van Summeren didn’t have good legs, he certainly had those good legs; he gave the maximum, but I also gave the maximum today and that’s what’s important," he noted.

Cancellara has always said that he wants to continue to challenge himself in cycling, but the Swiss rider isn't ready to make any decisions as to whether the Hell of the North will continue to remain a priority.

"I need a rest and I don’t think I should, 45 minutes after the finish, think about what’s going to happen next year; next year is next year and we are now," he confirmed.

"For sure I’m looking for new ambitions, for different ambitions, different goals, but I think we can talk about this in August and the end of the year.

"I just want to enjoy this moment, go back to my team, to my family, and enjoy a nice dinner and to say thank you to them for doing a great work," he concluded.


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