Team CSC kicked off the Tour of California blasting out of the blocks, taking consecutive stage wins in the Palo Alto prologue and stage one in Santa Rosa. The current world time trial champion from Switzerland, Fabian Cancellara hopes to lead the way into Pasadena in the golden jersey but admitted the possibility that the jersey could change hands over the next several stages. Cyclingnews' Kirsten Robbins spoke with the man in the rainbow skin suit after he demolished the opening event to find out how he planned to improve on an unbeatable season past.
If there has ever been a rider in the peloton who can predict a time trial effort down to the final second it would have to be the double world champion from CSC, Fabian Cancellara. "I woke up this morning and I said to myself 'I'm going to win the race in 3'50.' – So, to win it in 3'51 is not bad," said the Swiss rider before he stepped onto the podium to temporarily switch out his rainbow jersey for the golden leader's jersey in the Tour of California.
"I'm sure we are going to enjoy the rest of our time here in California," continued Cancellara. "We have a lot of cards to play in this race and we are going to use them because we want to win. We've been working hard for this and I hope we can rock it from today until the end. My impression of the course is that it was great. The Tour of California is beautiful and from what I've seen in the last two years, good things will come."
As stage one would have it, CSC landed top spot on the podium a second time with their Argentinean sprinter JJ Haedo, who acknowledged the effort his team-mate put in for him in the last few kilometers. But according to Cancellara his legs felt like 'two flat tires, full of the lactic acid from the previous day's two-mile effort' and he hoped to be feeling fresh by the morning. "For me, the climb was very hard and before we came to the circuit I felt so bad and my legs were so tight. I still felt the lactic acid from yesterday's effort and even though it was short it was really tough... I hope tomorrow my legs and my feeling in general are going to be better," Cancellara continued, who was happy with his performance in the lead-out because it proved his overall fitness is in tact.
After winning two world time trial championships, it seems tough to accomplish a higher fitness level, but Cancellara acknowledged that his power levels have improved over the previous year as a result of learning how to deal with the pressures of being number one in the world. "My power is very good right now, better than last year," said Cancellara.
The full interview is available here.