Cancellara fit for Belgian Classics

By Hedwig Kröner in Cannes At the start of Stage 6 of Paris-Nice in Rognes today, Cyclingnews spoke...

By Hedwig Kröner in Cannes

At the start of Stage 6 of Paris-Nice in Rognes today, Cyclingnews spoke to Fassa Bortolo's Fabian Cancellara. The sunny and warm weather conditions made the whole peloton's day, and the Swiss time triallist's too. "Finally, the sun is out!" he smiles. "It makes you feel better immediately. Of course, the mountain finish yesterday was difficult for me; I couldn't hold the others' pace."

Cancellara lost the leader's jersey on the climb up Mont Faron, but isn't giving himself a hard time about it. "I just don't have the form to lead a longer stage race yet," he explained. "I've been ill twice just before the season start, and I couldn't train around Christmas at all because of a problem with my knee."

Nevertheless, he is hopeful for the near future. "I think my level of fitness should be good enough for one-day races, so preparing for those is what I'll do now. I'll be competing at the Three days of De Panne next, and then at three classics - Tour of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix." Asked if there was one of them he targeted especially, he declined. "No, all of them could be good for me. We'll see what I can do.

"After that, I'll stop racing for a little while, to concentrate on my first Tour de Suisse, to which I'm very much looking forward to. This race suits me well on paper." Of course, the Swiss prologue specialist also has the Tour de France on the back of his head, which he won last year in Liège. "I'll take my chances again this year, that's for sure," he said. "If I get the opportunity to take the Yellow jersey at the prologue, I'll use it. And if I can hold on to it for a little longer than last year, that'd be great!"

Cancellara smiled at the prospect of it, and then had to hurry - the start of the penultimate stage of Paris-Nice was imminent.

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