Determined Cancellara will have final shot at Classics victory in Amstel Gold
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Determined Cancellara will have final shot at Classics victory in Amstel Gold

by Shane Stokes at 2:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Amstel Gold Race
 
Swiss rider has taken second, third and second in Sanremo, Flanders and Roubaix

Fabian CancellaraFabian Cancellara opted not to ride the 2010 Amstel Gold Race after his Tour of Flanders/Paris-Roubaix double. Citing physical and mental fatigue, he cancelled his previously-scheduled participation in the Dutch Classic. This year, still searching for a Classic win and seeking to defend his new position atop the UCI’s WorldTour rankings, he will be present in Sunday’s contest as part of the Leopard Trek team.

It remains to be seen if the Swiss rider can cope with the steep gradients in the race. He’s powerful enough to chase victory on the short, steep cobbled bergs of the Tour of Flanders, but a different type of rider often succeeds in Amstel. Still, his victory in races such as the 2009 Tour de Suisse shows that he when he is in peak form, he is competitive on a wide range of terrain.

He has had a remarkable Classic season thus far, netting second in Milan San Remo, third in the Tour of Flanders and then second in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix. He was the strongest rider in the latter contest, but was out-manoeuvred by Garmin-Cervélo, who put Johan Van Summeren in an early break and gave the giant rider the platform to race to an unexpected solo victory.

Cancellara stated afterwards that he was hugely frustrated by how things played out, and will be determined to turn things around this coming weekend.

He will be joined by GC riders Andy and Frank Schleck, both of whom have shown good form thus far this year. Frank Schleck won the race in 2006 and won’t turn down the chance to do so again, although Cancellara’s position in the UCI rankings may encourage the team to support him if a win is possible.

Also taking part in the hilly 260.4 kilometre race will be Jakob Fuglsang, Fabian Wegmann, Maxime Monfort, Anders Lund and Stefan Denifl.

Practically the same lineup will then dispute Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastonge-Liège, although Cancellara will be replaced in both by the team’s hyper-energised veteran Jens Voigt.

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