As double world time trial champion and Tour de France prologue winner in 2007, Fabian Cancellara is always under pressure to win prologue time trials but admitted he enjoys winning the big ones.
The giant Swiss rider had impressed at the recent CSC training camp in Malibu and stormed round the t 3.4km flat Tour of California prologue that finished in the grounds of Stanford University, setting a time of 3-51.211. Bradley Wiggins was second but a significant four seconds slower.
?In short time trials I have to win but when it?s a big event I get more out of it, more satisfaction out of it,? Cancellara said.
?Making history is good and gives you an extra boost. When I won in London it was on 07/07/07. Here we?re in Stanford University at the start of the Tour of California, which is a very important race for CSC. I thought I?d have to do a 3-50 to win and doing a 3-51 is not bad.?
?In short time trials you really need to kick ass, as you say. People start too fast or go over the limit in the first few metres. The prologue looks really short but it?s really long. You can?t give everything too early because the last kilometre is longest and every metre is hard.?
Cancellara will start Monday?s first road stage from Sausalito to Santa Rosa in the leader?s yellow jersey. He knows he is not an overall contender but wants one of his CSC team mates to win.
?Today is today and tomorrow we?ll see the real Tour of California start,? he said in his mix of Swiss, Italian and English.
?It?s a harder course than last year. There are better riders here but in our team we have a lot of cards play. I did a good job in the prologue, we started good, but we want to win the race. We?re here to win, we?ve trained hard at our training camp in the Malibu hills and so we?ll have to see what happens all week. It?s important our team wins, be it me or Bobby (Julich) or Stuey (O?Grady) or Jens (Voigt). If we win I?m happy. That?s what I want to give to team.?
It was pointed out that the prologue podium contained three riders from teams (CSC, High road and Slipstream) that all have extensive internal doping programmes. Cancellara agreed that it was a vital sign for the future after the doping scandals of the past.
?I think its important that there?s not only three teams are going fight (doping). Everybody has to fight,? he said.
?The biological passport is a good thing. I did 35 or maybe 40 controls last year and even had one last night just ten minutes into my massage. That?s a lot and they affect you but we have to do them. I hope other teams will do the same.?
?We need cycling to go well now. I hope my win helps. Look how many people were watching the race. That?s real passion for cycling and we have to help that grow.?