Ronde Van Vlaanderen
2013 Tour of Flanders/Ronde Van Vlaanderen: 'Spartacus' routs opposition to claim a second victory
It took one vicious attack on the Paterberg to reap the dividend of a perfect team effort and put Fabian Cancellara in the winning position. The move ripped the heart out of the opposition leaving Cancelalra to time-trial to the finish in Oudenaarde and claim his second win in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen on Sunday.
Cancellara © Radioshack Leopard Trek
"This was an amazing team job. Everyone was against us and we just stayed focused", stated the Swiss strongman, "We came on the Oude Kwaremont for the last time and Gregy Rast said everyone looked tired, so I tried to do the first selection there. Peter (Sagan) and I came up to Roelandts then and I knew I had to go again to get away from Peter. It happened like weíve been planning for months. Hard work from me and the team and sacrificing time with our families. I can count on two hands the number of days Iíve been home this winter. It hasnít been easy for my wife and kids but these are the hard choices we make. My career wonít last forever so itís important to pick moments to enjoy. This victory is for my family and team. They gave me so much support. And for the fans Ė it was a perfect day. My second win in Flanders has been exceptional. I will relax now and recover from this effort and see what happens next week," he concluded, referring to Paris-Roubaix next Sunday.
Cancellara attacked on the Oude Kwaremont to soften up the competition, with Peter Sagan on the wheel. Not wanting to take the sprinter to the line, Cancellara patiently waited for the Paterburg to put the final nail in the coffin, attacking from a seated position on the climb and immediately creating a gap.
From then on it was time trial mode for the four-time world TT champion. Sagan (Cannondale) and Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) rounded out the podium at well over a minute behind the Swiss champion.
Team director Dirk Demol described how the win came as no surprise, "We could see in the previous races he was good. He was working on his condition and always improving. Everyone was riding hard today and waiting for his attack. There were comments before the race that Radioshack Leopard Trek would not be one of the strongest teams in the race today but I was laughing at that. I knew better. I knew we had the team here to support Fabian and they were ready to die for him. Between 10km and 5km to go, there was no race information so I pulled up beside him and told him he was going to win the 100th Tour of Flanders. Heís full of confidence now Ė he is the one to beat next week in Roubaix."
Teamwork was the key ingredient in todayís win with every team rider playing a part in positioning Cancellara for the finale. One member of the armada was New Zealand's Hayden Roulston, "This was a super win. Fabian was able to confirm what everyone thought before the race and that isnít easy to do when youíre a big favorite. The team did our maximum and it was great to see Fabian win in that way. Early in the race we went to the front with our plan to keep everyone together and stay in the front. We knew we could react better from that place. Itís such a nice feeling to work so hard and then deliver the win. Itís good for the riders, the staff, the sponsors and our families. Itís pretty special. Itís easy to buy in to the plan when you have a leader like Fabian who can deliver."
Cancellara won the 2010 Tour of Flanders and wanted to repeat the effort after last yearís race-ending crash in the feed zone took him out of the classics. Cancellara and RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK have targeted this race since then.
Cancellara was relieved to have put the trials of 2012 behind him, "One year ago I was on the ground and now Iím back and Iíve won Flanders on the new course. It isnít easy winning as the big favorite but Iím really happy. In the end it was a strange race, but strange good because I won! It was so fast in the beginning and we had to take over early but I think that was the key. There were not so many riders left at the end. The team did a fantastic job and I did what I had to do: bring the Ronde Van Vlaanderen home."
SUI 1 CANCELLARA, Fabian (RADIOSHACK LEOPARD) 6:05:58
SVK 2 SAGAN, Peter (CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING) + 1:26
BEL 3 ROELANDTS, Jurgen (LOTTO BELISOL) + 1:28
NOR 4 KRISTOFF, Alexander (KATUSHA) + 1:38
FRA 5 LADAGNOUS, Matthieu (FDJ) + 1:40
AUS 6 HAUSSLER, Heinrich (IAM CYCLING)
BEL 7 VAN AVERMAET, Greg (BMC RACING)
FRA 8 TURGOT, Sťbastien (EUROPCAR)
GER 9 DEGENKOLB, John (ARGOS-SHIMANO)
NED 10 LANGEVELD, Sebastian (ORICA GREENEDGE)
NED 11 BOOM, Lars (BLANCO PRO CYCLING)
ITA 12 OSS, Daniel (BMC RACING)
FRA 13 CHAVANEL, Sylvain (OMEGA PHARMA - QUICK-STEP)
NOR 14 RASCH, Gabriel (SKY PROCYCLING)
ITA 15 GATTO, Oscar (VINI FANTINI - SELLE ITALIA)
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