Fabian Cancellara (Trek Segafredo) talked about this chances of success at the Dubai Tour before the race, but he and team manager Luca Guercilena were not keen to talk about the discovery of a hidden motor during the recent cyclo-cross World Championships.
Cancellara was at the centre of attention when accusations of hidden motors and mechanical doping first emerged in 2010. A video showing how mechanical doping works, and casting suspicion on Cancellara’s attacks in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix has been several million times.
Cancellara confirmed he is ready to race, and perhaps even try to win the Dubai Tour. He was also ready for the questions about mechanical doping.
“I’ve not read very much because I was with my family in Mallorca, and then I came here,” he said calmly in Italian while speaking to reporters from Cyclingnews, Velonews and Gazzetta dello Sport after the pre-race press conference.
“For sure things have been written about it, but it’s difficult to have a clear idea about it all because we’ve got to see what emerges. I’m curious. Let’s see.”
When asked about the 2010 video, he said in English: “Yeah but that’s an old story.
“I want to wait for all the official statements. That’s how everything should normally be. If it is true or not, I have no idea. What the UCI is going to do, I don’t know, it’s just funny that there’s a lot of speculation on new things, on old things. I think we will see what comes.”
When asked if mechanical cheating was somehow worse than doping, Guercilena suddenly interrupted the conversation.
“Excuse me, either we talk about the Dubai Tour, we’re not about engines. I’m sorry, don’t do all the interview on that,” the Italian team manager said bluntly, after carefully listening to every word Cancellara had said.
Cancellara was more relaxed but equally clear.
“I gave you my answer already,” Cancellara said. “If you want to ask me again, then I can go because that’s not what we want to talk about. Let’s talk about bike racing and the real ones. The rest, I don’t care about. I’m sorry.”
A successful final season
When asked about racing and 2016, Cancellara confirmed this season would be his final one and hinted that he is prepared to fight for overall victory after winning the hilliest race of the Challenge Mallorca series last weekend. He looked lean and fit during the press conference.
“We’re here for Giacomo in the sprints but the wind could change things,” he suggested.
“Qatar is not so far away, and I have the experience from there. When the wind blows like in last week’s triathlon, I know it will be a really hard race. If so, it won’t only be about the stage to Hatta Dam but the other days too. I’m here to have a great start in Dubai, to be focused and concentrated and to win with the team.
“Was I better than the others (in Mallorca)? I was just enjoying myself,” he said modestly.
“I wasn’t happy in the sprint on Friday, and I was not expecting to do that (to win). But when you have an opportunity, you don’t turn it down. I opened the power, and so I got a nice victory. It’s what I want to do the whole season. Use my experience but ride like a young rider. Close my eyes and go.”