Cancellara dreams of the Classics

CSC's young Swiss new recruit, Fabian Cancellara says his ambition is to win the sport's biggest one-day races, Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. In an interview on the team's website, the 24-year-old former Fassa Bortolo rider talks about his ambitions for 2006 and the coming years.

Despite his youth, Cancellara has 31 victories on his palmares, including stages of Paris-Nice, Setmana-Catalana, Tour of Belgium and Tour of Qatar, and has worn the yellow jersey of Tour de France leader after winning the prologue in 2004. Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders are his immediate ambitions, he says. "I'm very keen on the classic one-day races and especially those two. But if I'm allowed to dream a little, I would have to mention the Tour de France. Standing at the top of the podium in Paris would be a dream come through, even though the big classics suit me best."

Wearing the Tour yellow jersey in 2004 was "a huge experience" he says, in a year when he "really developed as a professional rider."

Cancellara's first goal for 2006 is to ft in with his new team. "It's important for me to gain the trust of my team mates. It's fundamental in order for me to be able to perform well," he says.

After that Cancellara plans a long season. "My first big goal will be the spring classics and then the Tour de France," he says. "I hope to do well in the prologue, but also work hard so Team CSC and Ivan Basso can achieve a top result in the overall standings. In the last part of the season, I consider the individual time trial World Championship to be one of my main objectives."

A senior time trial world championship would sit very nicely in the trophy cabinet next to his 1998 and 1999 junior titles. It's been quite a run for the youngster who at age 13 was loaned one of his dad's old bikes. "I must say I was instantly hooked," he says of his first experiences with cycling. "It was exciting to ride around and experience new places, and cycling quickly replaced football, which up until then was my favourite sport. I joined the local club and things slowly started to progress from there on."

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