Fabian Cancellara had take a low-key approach to Tirreno-Adriatico at the start due a cold, but he opened up his lungs and the power in his legs to dominate the final time trial in San Benedetto dello Tronto. His victory reminded everyone that he will again be a contender in the Spring Classics despite 2016 being the final season of his long and successful career.
Cancellara covered the 10.1km out-and-back time trial in 11:08, faster than his 2015 winning time of 11:23 on a course apparently 100 metres shorter than this year’s route. The Trek-Segafredo rider has now won the final Tirreno-Adriatico time trial four times in his long career. He beat Johan Le Bon (FDJ) by 13 seconds, with usual time trial rival Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick-Step) in third at 15 seconds. Alex Dowsett (Movistar) was a solid fourth, also at 15 seconds.
“I’m really happy to win again. I’ve finished a tough week on a high and now its time to rest up and enjoy this win. It’s time for the president of my fan club to give me a fourth magnum of Sassicaia ride wine as he promised me for every victory this season,” Cancellara said. His season’s palmares also includes wins in Mallorca, Algarve and Strade Bianche.
“I wasn’t 100% healthy at the start of this week but I’ve done the work I need to do. I’ve seen that my rivals are strong too and I saw how Sagan and Van Avermaet fought hard for victory here. The Classics will be a fascinating battle with those two and other riders who aren’t here.”
The Tirreno-Adriatico time trial is about power and speed and Cancellara again pushed himself to his limits.
“It was windy fast, short and, yeah, it felt good. I mean it was very hard; it may have seemed easy, but it was not,” he explained. “I didn’t do anything specific today, with such a short time trial I focused on pure power. I did not have the easiest week, and so I am really happy with my performance. I went out like a mad man, with everything I had.”
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