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Fabian Cancellara and Scott Sunderland
After winning Paris-Roubaix on Sunday with Fabian Cancellara, Team CSC continued its celebrations...
After winning Paris-Roubaix on Sunday with Fabian Cancellara, Team CSC continued its celebrations well into the early hours of Monday morning at the Park Hotel in Kortrijk. It was arguably the team's biggest race win, and manager Bjarne Riis and director Scott Sunderland are still coming to terms with it.
"Everything went OK right from the start," an emotional and ecstatic Sunderland commented from the party. "Fabian rode an awesome, incredible race and the rest of the team did an impeccable job. This victory is such a reward for the whole team. The mechanics, the soigneurs, everyone did everything how it was supposed to be done. Everything was just right. It's a fantastic feeling to experience such perfection."
"Not only did I win with my legs, but I was also very strong in my head," said Cancellara. "Also, the team did everything they could to support me.
"I came here to win the race. We didn't look to other riders or teams. Everybody is looking to Boonen, but he's the same as the rest - you've got to be strong in your head. That's why I always tried to react immediately when someone attacked. That way, I'm where I need to be and the attacker gets de-motivated because he's got someone on his wheel.
Cancellara was looking to be very comfortable in the last five kilometres, even smiling on his bike. "I was in touch with the team car through the radio," he admitted. "I was constantly asking about the [time] differences I got. I heard from my sport director what my lead was. Ten seconds, twenty, thirty, one minute...
"Lots of things were flashing through my head: being at the velodrome, having the pleasure to come in alone, knowing what I did to achieve this, being only the second Swiss to win this race. It all comes back to this being a great victory. Looking to the riders that finished behind me, they are all champions - so am I."
Like a number of teams, CSC rode on carbon bikes during the race. It was questioned by others before the start, but Riis put his full support behind his director Scott Sunderland. It proved to be the right choice, as Cancellara appeared to be floating over the cobbles and the team only suffered one puncture on the day.
Sunderland explained to Cyclingnews that the Cérvelos they used had a box-section downtube and a special chain- and seat-stay design so that the rear triangle flexed more on the cobbles, almost like rear suspension. In addition, the team was running 27mm tubulars with normal spoked wheels.
"I have never been that comfortable on the cobbles," Fabian confirmed to the VUM papers. "The frame; the wheels, everything was picobello. It was the first time in my career that I started as the team leader. Immediate success!"
If ever you get the chance of admiring one of Cancellara's bikes close-up, you will notice that it doesn't have his name written on the frame. It reads Tony Montana. "Tony Montana is my nickname in the group," laughs Cancellara. "Montana is my favourite actor in the movie Scarface with Al Pacino. I'm always imitating him."