Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) says that he was upset for not winning Ghent-Wevelgem today in Belgium, but looked ahead to the races that matter for him, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix monuments.
Cancellara, who finished fourth, said he lacked the power in his legs to sprint at the end of the 242km Classic.
“For sure the first impression is not the happiest,” Cancellara said after he showered in the team’s bus parked beyond the finish line. “I mean, for sure it’s happy Easter day, but it’s not happy Ghent-Wevelgem day.”
The group moved free with 34km to race on the cobbled Kemmelberg climb to join lone leader Kuznetsov. The Russian began the sprint in the final metres, Sagan responded with the win and Vanmarcke held on for third.
Watch: Sagan ‘bluffed’ his way to Ghent-Wevelgem win
Cancellara already won four times in what it his final season, however. Early this month in Italy, he picked up wins at the Strade Bianche one-day race and in the final time trial stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. With the monuments around the corner – Flanders on Sunday and Roubaix the following Sunday – he appears calm.
The 35-year-old from Bern counts three wins in both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. If he wins Flanders again, he would hold the record for the most wins.
“There are a lot of favourites. Today is not Flanders and Friday [in E3 Harelbeke] was not Flanders. They are completely different races,” Cancellara said.
“In Flanders it’s totally different. A long, hard and intense day like today and the hard race on Friday will help because I knew after a Milan-San Remo that wasn’t as hard as other years and a Tirreno-Adriatico wasn’t as hard, this might be the last step I need.
“The shape was already good but I needed intense one-day races. I’m happy with that. So now, I’ll go home and finalise my training this week. And then the coming week will be one of the most important days of the year – in cycling.”