Cancellara enjoying early stages of retirement

Fabian Cancellara brought his career to a close at the Japan Cup Criterium last month and has since enjoyed the first few weeks of his retirement. Cancellara has been kept busy in retirement, including working on a 'farewell book' with the Belgian journalist Guy Van Den Langenbergh of Het Nieuwsblad that was launched at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Antwerp on Thursday.

While still looking trim and ready to race, Cancellara joked that he has gained several kilograms as he has spent little time on his bike.

"It is scary when you feel that you get fatter. I would like to still be a bit fit. Not that I should be as sharp as Sven Nys," Cancellara said at the launch ad book signing. "But I have to keep an eye on it anyway. Once you're no longer a sportsman, the kilos come very quickly."

Cancellara expanded upon the events that have been keeping him off is bike and contributed to his weight gain.

"Since Rio I have been busy with 1001 things. Sponsorship activities, bike shows, galas, it does not stop. I let the things come to me. I suspect it will be less busy in a few weeks and then I can really make plans," he added. "Which plans? I do not want to elaborate on that. You will get to know more. What I certainly will do though is to study again."

Before embarking on future study, where he wants to study sports marketing but is not interested in pursuing a full degree, Cancellara will first enjoy time with his family. 

"I can already rely on my experience as a rider, but I still want to study a few subjects. It is a part of the sport that fascinates me and where I want to learn something," he said. "And of course, first of all I want to spend more time with my family, my friends. I don't want to let the things come to me and I want to take control of my own schedule. After 16 years of cycling at a high level, in a team, I deserve some freedom."

The 35-year-old wouldn't divulge his long-term plans, but Cancellara is confirmed to take part in a farewell event in Gent on November 12 with Bradley Wiggins, Franck Schleck, Pippo Pozzato and Sep Vanmarcke among the riders confirmed as participants.

Cancellara will also present his book in Zurich later this month, and he'll do the same in December in London.   

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