Fabian Cancellara The Contender
At 25 years old Cancellara is a serious contender for success at Paris Roubaix.
In the last 2 years this talented rider has been in the top 5 in the classics,
this year he is showing as strong.
I've Never Been Better Ahead of a Paris-Roubaix
Even though he is only 25 years old, Team CSC's Fabian Cancellara already has a
lot of experience with Paris-Roubaix – the race the riders either love or hate.
The big Swiss talent belongs to the first group and he is aiming for a big
result in this year's edition of the Hell of the North.
Fabio Cancellara © Tim De Waele
Identifying the main threats, Boonen's teammate Filippo Pozzato interestingly
pinpointed Fabian Cancellara as the biggest: “First of all, Cancellara, then
Hincapie and Van Petegem.” The CSC man showed his form with sixth in the Tour of
Flanders, and is perhaps the man with the best-equipped “engine” to challenge
Boonen: give him 50 metres and, as one of the best time-trialists in
professional cycling, he will take a kilometre.
”I might as well come clean and say: I've never been better ahead of a Paris-Roubaix,
and I believe my results this year show that. I've built up my form, and now one
of the big goals of the season is right in front of me.
This race suits me
perfectly, and I've done everything I can to be ready,” says Cancellara about
Sunday's monumental race, which occupies a very special place in the mythology
of cycling sport, with about 50 kilometers of the race being on cobblestones,
which are anything in between slippery wet and muddy to completely covered in
clouds of dust – but always with a guarantee of a great race.
Fabian's face etched in effort on the way to the victory in Tirreno Adriatico
Time Trial. No stranger to the podium in early races this year Cancellara is a
rider who is strong in the race against the clock and a capable opponent on the
pave of the Spring Classics. Photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
In the 2006 edition of the race, which took place for the first time in 1896,
the organizers have reintroduced the legendary stretch by the forest in Arenberg.
Other famous and infamous parts are: Orchies, Mons-en-Pévèle and also Carrefour
de l'Arbre, which lies 17 kilometers before finish this year. The Queen of the
classics is often won or lost on this particular stretch.
Cancellara knows the route down to the smallest detail, and on Thursday he
was out inspecting the condition of the pavees on the last 100 kilometers along
with the rest of the Team CSC crew.
Stage 5 Podium Fabian!!! photo c. Fotoreporter Sirotti
”Paris-Roubaix is so special and so unlike any other race – it resembles a
very long and difficult time trail a bit! And then again maybe not, because you
so need a good team behind you, and I really feel we have a lot to offer in that
department, both in terms of experience and in terms of riders who are willing
to sacrifice themselves. At the same time we have the perfect team for this race
and that could turn out to be vital. Of course you also need luck in Paris-Roubaix,
because there are so many crashes and punctures that can stop you in your
tracks. We have done everything possible to minimize these risks, and the rest
is up to the riders. One thing is for sure: It will be tough, it's gonna hurt –
and strange as it may sound – I'm really looking forward to it,” finishes
CSC Comments after Stage 5 TT Tirreno Adriatico:
”I've been anticipating my first victory for Team CSC and I'm very happy with
the timing on top of a week which has been full of bad luck for the team. It's a
perfect time to send a positive signal that we're on the right track after all.
For me the victory is also confirmation that my form is there in time for the
classics. I've worked hard over winter and look forward to challenging the
cobble stones of the north,” said Fabian Cancellara
following his victory.
”Fabian is a fantastic time trial specialist and he's the type of rider
who'll win when his form is present. It's good to see him almost ready for the
classics and I can feel he's very eager to do well. He's an exciting rider to
work with and it's only natural that we have high expectations for him. Ivan
also did well in the time trial but was unlucky with the weather. He would've
lost considerably less time to Fabian if he hadn't hit such bad weather, but he
has every reason to be satisfied with his performance. Karsten Kroon did the
best time trial I've ever seen him do, so he made a really good impression
today,” said Bjarne Riis.