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Fabian Canellara, Bern’s Locomotive, Spartacus, Tony Montana, Superman: call him the way you prefer, but do not cut him out any longer.
With a fabulous attack in the last 12km of the Strade Bianche the Swiss champion won for the second time the classic one-day race. He proved, once again, that when he is in best condition no one can stop him, or even try to run close to him. You leave him five meters of advantage and suddenly he is gone. He arrived at the finish line 42 seconds before the firsts runner-ups, Maxim Iglinsky and Oscar Gatto.
Last year he arrived second in the Milano – San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris – Roubaix, did not win any stage in the Toud de France and the Vuelta, and did not win the National Time Trial Championship so many people started to say that his days were over. Today he showed that the Locomotive still has enough power, especially when all the other riders of the peloton are not running to win but to stop you from winning, as happened in last year’s classics.
But this time Cancellara was the best rider, also because of the will he had to dedicate the victory to his uncle who recently died.
“Today it all went perfect thanks to work of the team and especially Daniele Bennati. It was great to see how he raced and so I wanted to make sure I won.
“A lot of things came to mind during the race: winning, but also about the sacrifices we have to make. I also thought about my uncle, who I lost a few days. I won thanks more to my mental strength than my physical strength.
“You learn more about life and how short it is when you lose people. You understand that you have to be happy with your life and with things like family, and find quality in your life. Today I managed to transform my pain into something positive.” (uk.eurosport.yahoo.com)
The final kilometers were an ascending climax from the Swiss rider. Greg Van Avermaet attacked with 12 km left on a very difficult climb, with a peak of 18% of steepness. Cancellara attacked as well, sitting all the time on the saddle. After two kilometers he had 15 seconds on Oscar Gatto, Alessandro Ballan, Roman Kreuziger, Van Avermaet and Maxim Iglinsky. After four km the vantage was of 33 seconds. With seven kilometers left Cancellare was even faster than the cars in front of him in a roundabout. With 3,5 km left to race he had 38 seconds, with 2 km 52. On the final climb, in Siena, with one km left he was in front by 1 minute and five seconds. The last ascent was a parade between the crowd on both sides and a more than deserved victory in the center of Tuscany’s city.
Spartacus is back and he will be one of the favourites, if not the favourite, in the next classics!
Photo courtesy of http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com