Fabian Cancellara may never have had a crack at the Hour Record, but from the evidence on offer at the Swiss rider’s farewell event at the Kuipke velodrome in Ghent, he would have blown Bradley Wiggins‘s 54.526km mark out of the water.
For Cancellara’s last ever race (but surely one of his first on the track) he lined up against Wiggins for 12 laps of the 166m velodrome in a 2km individual pursuit in front of a 3,000 capacity crowd of adoring Spartacus fans.
Despite his lack of experience on the track, Cancellara got off to an assured start, with the two men being very closely matched over the first half of the race.
Perhaps suffering as a result of the extra weight he’s put on since hanging up his wheels at the end of the season, Cancellara seemed to fade through the second half. However, Wiggins was clearly suffering more, losing ground through the final 1.5km to give Cancellara one last win, a victory that must surely be up there with his multiple successes in the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, and World Championships.
As for Wiggins, perhaps he decided to take things easy, with a more competitive appearance at the Kuipke velodrome scheduled for Tuesday, the first day of the Ghent Six where he will partner Mark Cavendish is pursuit of victory.