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Cancellara says Contador signing prompted Saxo Bank departure

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Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) reminds us that this is number four in a row.

Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) reminds us that this is number four in a row. (Image credit: kathryn Watt)
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Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) rolls to the start.

Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) rolls to the start. (Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Four titles indeed for Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)

Four titles indeed for Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) (Image credit: kathryn Watt)

The signing of Alberto Contador was the main reason behind Fabian Cancellara's decision to leave Team Saxo Bank, as he felt that the focus of the team would shift away from him. The Swiss rider has yet to announce where he will ride in 2011, but it is assumed that he will join the Schleck brothers at the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project, where he will concentrate on different spring classics.

“Bjarne Riis has been very important for my career, but when Alberto Contador was signed, I knew that would mean significant changes for me,” Cancellara told Diario Vasco. “I can’t afford to have a season not at the top, losing my balance. I learned a lot from Riis, but I have to have a good environment at all levels. There is money in cycling and business deals, but that alone does not win races. At Saxo Bank we had a great time and I want to continue with that group of people.”

Having won the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix this year, the latter for the second time, the 29-year-old is ready to change his focus. He told Vélo Magazine that his highlights in 2011 will be Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Worlds road race, and the Tour of Lombardy.

Winning La Doyenne would require a different season schedule. "I think that I can win Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but to do so would require very specific preparation. I would have to forget about Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders, and use the Tour of the Basque Country to achieve the best condition." He has never ridden the Basque race in his career before.

It would also mean that he would have to keep his weight down to win all of those races. “The preparation is different for the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana. In the Worlds at Mendrisio, where I finished fifth, I weighed 79 kilos, while in the Classics this April, I was 82 kilos. If you want to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April, you should be 79 kilos. "