Fabian Cancellara has said that he was never motivated by money during his illustrious cycling career.
The Swiss former time trial world champion and classics king said that it is a mistake to chase money rather than focus on the events themselves.
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“Money is not what makes you happy at the end of the day,” the 36-year-old said in an interview with expansion.com.
“There are other things. Obviously, to make ends meet, it’s clear you need it.”
He continued: “If you compete solely for the money, as a professional athlete, you do not get results. In my career, when it came to signing for one team or another, I always looked first and foremost at the sporting aspects.”
Cancellara retired at the end of the 2016 season, and has just finished a sports management qualification at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland. He says that he is not interested in following the path of many ex-pro cyclists, who become coaches.
“I did not want to be coach of a cycling team or coach of athletes. That’s not Fabian and I do not like it,” he said.
“I prefer to dedicate myself to the management of sporting events, step by step and starting from scratch.”
Cancellara said that it was “not easy” for him to go back to studying, but that he was glad that he did. He is already a shareholder in events companies Tristar Triathlon and Chasing Cancellara, as well as working with personal sponsors such as Gore.
Although Cancellara still keeps fit, he says that he does not miss cycling competition, although he has started training for triathlons, but not to compete at the top level.
“I do not have time to play sports,” he said.
During his cycling career, Cancellara was one of the foremost time triallists and classics riders. He won the time trial world title on four occasions, and Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders on three occasions each.
In addition, he won eight stages of the Tour de France, three in the Vuelta a España, Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche and many other victories during a pro career than spanned from 2001 to 2016.