On his way to Trek Factory Racing's Spanish training camp, Fabian Cancellara stopped off in Belgium for an appearance on the Sporza chat program Van Gils & Guests touching on various topics and explaining the 2013 Tour of Flanders was the best of his career.
"Of all my victories, the 2013 Tour of Flanders stands out," Cancellara said of his career which also includes an Olympic Gold medal, four time trial world championship titles, and 29 days in yellow at the Tour de France along with numerous other victories. "It was a day of perfection, everything fell into place. It was extra special because of the way I won (Cancellara rode away from Sagan on the Paterberg and reached the finish with an advantage of half a minute, ed). The year before, I had a lot of bad luck (Cancellara crashed, breaking his collarbone, ed)."
Cancellara is set to retire after the 2016 season and further explained why he feels it is the right time to hang up the wheels
"Why do I stop at the end of next season? I have been a pro rider for 16 years and my feeling is that it slowly has become enough. Racing is not my life, it is only a part of it," he said.
"The professional life is bad for your social life. When you get home, you can't cut yourself into four pieces to meet up with all of your closest friends and relatives."
The 34-year-old was also asked about Peter Sagan who will he face in one final classics campaign with the Tinkoff-Saxo rider wearing the rainbow jersey.
"At the end of the year, Sagan got what I have always wanted: The Worlds title," he said. "For a young rider, it is hard to deal with pressure, money and the situation within your team, but ultimately Sagan got his big win. He is young and has a long future."
Cancellara signed a team jersey for "Music for Life" charity event run by Studio Brussels before heading off to join his teammates in Calpe.
Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) had plenty of time to celebrate his Tour of Flanders victory. (Bettini Photo)
2016 teams and route announced for Étoile de Bessèges
AG2R-La Mondiale, FDJ, IAM Cycling and Lotto Soudal have been named as the four WorldTour teams to line up at the 2016 Étoile de Bessèges which will be held February 3-7. There will be no defence from Bob Jungels with Etixx-QuickStep missing the race next year.
Eight Pro-Continental teams have also been invited to the race, Caja Rural-RGA, CCC-Sprandi Polkowice, Cofidis, Direct Energie, Delko Marseille Provence, Fortuneo-Vital Concept, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, with a sprint battle between Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) a possibility.
The peloton will be completed by the An Post-Chain Reaction, Armée de Terre, Auber 93, Roubaix Lille Métropole, Veranclassic-Ekoi and Wallonie Bruxelle Continental teams.
2016 Étoile de Bessèges:
Stage 1: Bellegarde - Beaucaire (156km)
Stage 2: Nîmes - Mejannes Le Clap (153km)
Stage 3: Bessèges - Bessèges (152km)
Stage 4: Tavel - Laudun (148km)
Stage 5: Alès-Alès (ITT) (12km)
A new team for the National Road Series in 2016
The newly created PhysioHealth Focus Cycling Team is looking to made immediate impact in 2016 at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic from January 1 and the Australian national titles a week later before switching its focus to the National Road Series (NRS). The team has recruited the likes of 2015 Oceania time trial champion Harry Carpenter, multiple NRS stage winner Russel Gill and promising U23 mountain biker Jason Lea.
The team will race SRAM equipped Focus bikes in its debut season with Skoda Richmond, Cuore of Switzerland, BikeSortz, Pro4mance and Arrow Wood Products also supporting the team. which will wear a white and black kit with red trimming.
2016 PhysioHealth Focus Cycling Team roster: Harry Carpenter, Tom Kaesser, Jason Lea, Scott Bowden, Russell Gill, Tom Chapman, Todd Buschkuehl, Evan Hull, Mitchell Dedman, Zane Hunter and Nicholas White
Grafton to Inverell moves from October to May in 2016
Having been the season closer of the National Road Series (NRS), the Grafton to Inverell one-day race will be held on May 7 next season and will be the second round of the series. The change in dates sees the race move closer to the Tour of Toowoomba and the Battle on the Border on the calendar which could allow Cycling Australia to run all three events in May.
"We feel the move is positive step for the race. We spoke to several teams and also lower grade competitors and the general response was in favour of the change," organising committee member Peter Sunderland explained. "To align with the other two NRS events in the northern states is something we feel will benefit all three events going forward."
Sean Lake, who will ride for Avanti next season, has won the last two editions of the race.
Sean Lake wins his second consecutive Grafton to Inverall title. (Niels Juel / Cycling Australia)