Cancellara becomes world champion: "The best year of my life"

It's been a good year for Fabian Cancellara after he secured victory at the prestigious...

2006 UCI World Road Championships

CM Salzburg, Austria, September 20-24, 2006

It's been a good year for Fabian Cancellara after he secured victory at the prestigious Paris-Roubaix and anouncement he is expecting a baby with his new wife. The Swiss tells Hedwig Kröner how victory in yesterday's Elite Men's TT at the 2006 UCI World Road Championships has put him on cloud nine.

A long-time dream has become reality for Swiss Fabian Cancellara today in Salzburg, as he took the win in the men's time trial. The 25 year-old knew his time was the winning one as he powered along the finishing straight, thousands of hands clapping onto the cardboard barriers, and he clenched his fist as he flew over the line, overwhelmed with emotion. "I felt so strong today, and I knew that my time was good," he said. "I had been focused all day so that was a moment of great relief and happiness."

The countdown to the race against the clock was smooth, even though 'Cance' was loaded with tension and focus. "It was a perfect day for me, everything turned out just as I had imagined it," he continued. "I woke up two times last night, as I was already in the race emotionally. This morning, I trained a little and when I warmed up on the rollers, I felt already that it would be a good day. I can't say much about it, everything just clicked. I never raced this good. And seeing how long I have worked for this... it's just a wonderful feeling."

But the tall CSC rider has learned to retain his emotions a bit more ever since he won Paris-Roubaix this spring, as the best of his career could be yet to come in terms of results. Still, Cancellara insists that 2006 the best year in his life so far, and not only because of his prestigious victories. "After Paris-Roubaix, I had a few weeks to prepare for my next goal, winning

the prologue at the Tour de France," he recalled. "As this didn't happen [Cancellara wasn't nominated into the CSC Tour roster - ed.], it took a little while for me to overcome that, but then I re-focused on my second goal this year: the World's. And now here I am, where I wanted to be since the beginning of the year. So, there are no regrets: I won Paris-Roubaix and the World's this year. I feel comfortable, with the team as in my private life: I got married this year and we're expecting our first child in a few weeks. So it's the best year of my life. I'm on cloud number nine."

It was an amazing day also for the Swiss man's team, whose riders received the moral support of Bjarne Riis, present at the time trial in Salzburg. "At CSC, we don't have to prove once again that we are specialised in the time trial with me, Dave and Brian Vandborg finishing in the top 5," said Cancellara. "It's a bit of a shame for Brian to miss the podium by just a few seconds. But we have been achieving great results in the discipline the whole year, which is beautiful. As for me, I felt an improvement from last year, also because of the great bikes and material that we have at our disposal, making it even more fun to race hard against the clock."

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