Cancellara’s Classics column: Your legs make the difference at Paris-Roubaix, not tyre pressure

(Image credit: Getty)

There are a lot of question marks coming into Paris-Roubaix, because a lot of teams have had to make changes this Spring with so many sick riders. That makes it quite interesting, actually, but also frustrating, because we’re not seeing the best of the best in their best shape.

I’m thinking especially of Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), who was my five-star favourite for the Tour of Flanders before he got ill with COVID-19. He’s back this weekend, but it’s hard to say what shape he is in. You have to take the coronavirus very seriously and manage the return carefully, because you don’t know the effects it can have afterwards. You have to put health first.

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Fabian Cancellara

Fabian Cancellara is an ex-professional cyclist who raced from 2001 to 2016 for Mapei, Fassa Bortolo, CSC and Trek. One of a select trio of riders to have won Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders three times, alongside arch rival Tom Boonen and Johan Museeuw, he is the only racer who can add the Strade Bianche triple to that glittering statistic – first across the line in Siena at four year intervals between 2008 and 2016."Spartacus" was also a formidable time trialist: four times world champion, twice Olympic champion,  his final race as a professional cyclist came in the TT at the Rio Olympics in 2016, where he triumphed over second-placed Tom Dumoulin by a staggering 47 seconds. Alongside various business interests – and being a Cyclingnews columnist, of course – Cancellara is a founder of the Tudor Pro Cycling team, currently racing at UCI Pro Team level.