Fabian Cancellara: It’s sad we’re not seeing races, but we have to live with the reality

The retired superstar shares his thoughts on the cancellation of the Classics

(Image credit: Naphtalina)

Fabian Cancellara laments the cancellation of the Classics, but supports the global lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Cancellara, a seven-time Monument winner, says that cycling can return once the world has dealt with the Covid-19 crisis.

The Swiss former pro said he’s thankful he’s still able to ride his bike outside in his region of Switzerland.

Speaking from his office in the de facto Swiss capital Bern last week, Cancellara told Cycling Weekly: “It’s quite intense, there’s a lot going on.

“We need to see the positives and not crack or just see the negatives.

“It’s sad we’re not seeing races at the moment, but this is the reality and we have to live with it and look to the next opportunity.”

The cycling calendar has been completely upended because of the pandemic, with the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the Giro d’Italia among the dozens of races suspended, while pro riders Maximilian Richeze and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) have both been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Richeze, who was put into quarantine at the UAE Tour with his sprinter Gaviria last month, has now tested negative and been released.

Cancellara himself has been forced to regroup because of coronavirus, after the launch of his new Gore clothing range in Belgium was cancelled, along with the Flanders edition of his unique race format Chasing Cancellara.

Fabian Cancellara is a Gore Wear ambassador. The Cancellara Collection, which unites top technologies with incredible cycling insight is available here.

He added: “Not seeing the favourites, not seeing a bike race, it’s unusual. But we have to do everything possible to lock down the system. As soon as the lockdown has worked out, then cycling restart.”

Cancellara, 39, said he can’t remember a time when the cycling calendar was disrupted this much, including the 2015 terror lockdown in Belgium and the swine flu outbreak in 2009-10 – Cancellara himself was diagnosed with swine flu during that pandemic.

>>> Fabian Cancellara’s new Gore Wear collection released 

He added: “I was positive for the swine and we had three weeks of flu in our house, but it seems this virus is much more serious than that.

“We have to follow the guidelines and then we can go back to normal.

“We need patience.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.