Cancellara dreams of solo Flanders win
Fabian Cancellara dreams of winning the Tour of Flanders solo again this Sunday in Oudenaarde, Belgium.
"The worst case scenario is to have two riders on my back wheel," he said at a press conference in Bruges. "The best is to be alone on the front. What counts is passing the line in the first position."
He has been thinking about Flanders and recent races at his home in Bern, Switzerland. Over a barbecue on Wednesday, he must of thought of how Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) got the best of him in Milan-San Remo. He launched a gutsy attack, but was followed to the line and beaten.
The Swiss attacked on the Oude Kwaremont in the E3 Harelbeke on Friday, but suffered a puncture near the top and then was T-boned by Carlos Barredo. He tried to break the race apart in Ghent-Wevelgem two days later, but saw it re-form for a sprint win by key rival Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
He arrived in Bruges, Belgium, today at 13:45 to join his RadioShack-Nissan team-mates at the pre-Flanders hotel. It is a new start and a chance to put San Remo and the other races behind him.
"I can't control bad luck," he said as cameras clicked and dictaphones recorded. "A crash or a puncture... I can't think about it because I can't do anything about it."
The journalists talked of a duel - man-to-man, head-to-head - between him and Boonen. The two are the bookmakers' favourites. Everyone envisions a fight up one of the cobbled climbs as they had when Cancellara dropped Boonen to win on the Muur-Kapelmuur in 2010. This year, the organiser re-routed the course to finish in Oudenaarde; it skips the Muur and may not even see a duel between the two champions.
Boonen won in 2005 and 2006, and is on form with seven wins so far this season.
"I know all the Belgians talk about the big duel, but I must say I'm concentred on myself first," Cancellara said.
"Tom was there in 2010 and 2011, but he had bad luck. Bad luck and luck comes and goes. Tom wants to win, but Sylvain Chavanel wants to win as well. But look, many favourites may surprise us: Peter Sagan, Sep Vanmarcke or Filippo Pozzato.
"My hope is to arrive solo. I don't want have anyone on my back wheel, so then I can say the strongest guy won."
Tour of Flanders 2012: The Big Preview
Fabian Cancellara: Rider Profile
Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
Bikes of Unbound Gravel 2023: The rigs taking on the world's biggest gravel race
Custom Paintjobs and the pinnacle of gravel tech is on full display in Emporia, Kansas
By Henry Lord • Published
Unreleased Shimano GRX 12-speed spotted at Unbound Gravel
The potentially new groupset was spotted on Taylor Lideen's bike before this Saturday's racing
By Joe Baker • Published