Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara is riding Tirreno-Adriatico this week with his mind on the classics. He is thinking ahead to the first week of April, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
Cancellara wants to become the first rider in history to win both races in consecutive years.
“I am trying to do it, I am not afraid,” Cancellara said. “I feel good, when it all goes well and I ramp up in the same way as last year…”
Cancellara won Milan-San Remo in 2008 and Paris-Roubaix in 2006. When he won the Tour of Flanders and Roubaix last year, tough, he became the first since Belgian Tom Boonen in 2006 to win the double.
He now wants to make history and repeat the double.
“Everything has to go right on those two days, and those days are long, hard and there will be a lot of other riders. For sure, though, those riders will be looking to one rider to lose those races. They’ll be smart to also remember how I lost Roubaix in 2007; we still won because the team was able to change plans and go with [Stuart] O’Grady.”
In 2008, Cancellara won Strade Bianche and the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race prior to San Remo. This year, he started his season later, skipped the opening classics weekend in Belgium and lowered his Italian ambitions.
His Leopard-Trek team-mate, Daniele Bennati will likely lead the team for San Remo and Cancellara has promised he will take it easy during the Tirreno despite a favourable route with two time trials.
“For sure, this is part of the whole plan of preparation,” added Cancellara. “Everyone else is here and they are not just all coming here for this race, it’s impossible, the season’s too long for that.”