Speaking to reporters on the Via Roma after Milan-San Remo last weekend, Fabian Cancellara declared that the cobbled classics would be more open than they have been in years past, yet while the world around him seemingly changes, the Swiss rider’s approach remains unaltered.
While most – though not all – of Cancellara’s rivals have already sampled competitive action on the cobbles this season, Friday’s E3 Harelbeke marks his first Belgian race of the year, though his Trek Factory Racing directeur sportif Dirk Demol does not anticipate any ring rustiness. After all, Cancellara has not lined up at Dwars door Vlaanderen since 2011 or at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad since 2008, yet has won E3 Harelbeke two more times in the intervening period.
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