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Cancellara survives the heat to stay in yellow

German Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) leads teammate and Tour de France race leader, Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank).

German Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) leads teammate and Tour de France race leader, Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank). (Image credit: AFP)

Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) successfully defended his yellow jersey on day two of the Tour de France, and admitted later that the searing heat had proved a bigger challenge than the four-man break that dominated the stage, before being reeled in with 10km remaining.

"It was fast at the start, fast up the first climb, and fast all day," said the Swiss, a commanding winner of Saturday’s stage one time trial. "There was great work from my team, who were focused on [defending] yellow. The heat hurt a lot, but it hurt all the other riders, too.

"With 40km to go I asked Bjarne [Riis] how many degrees it was, and I was told forty. I knew it was hot, but I didn’t know it was that hot. I focused on drinking, drinks at normal temperature, then with 30 or 40km to go I started pouring water over my head. I have extra kilograms [over a lot of the other riders] so that makes things much tougher."

The crash towards the finish didn’t distract him, Cancellara said. "It’s normal, it happens in any race, especially in the heat," he said. "That’s when riders are not as focused as they could be, but I was never in a risky situation."


 

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Richard Moore is a freelance journalist and author. His first book, In Search of Robert Millar (HarperSport), won Best Biography at the 2008 British Sports Book Awards. His second book, Heroes, Villains & Velodromes (HarperSport), was long-listed for the 2008 William Hill Sports Book of the Year.

He writes on sport, specialising in cycling, and is a regular contributor to Cyclingnews, the Guardian, skyports.com, the Scotsman and Procycling magazine.

He is also a former racing cyclist who represented Scotland at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and Great Britain at the 1998 Tour de Langkawi

His next book, Slaying the Badger: LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France, will be published by Yellow Jersey in May 2011.

Another book, Sky’s the Limit: British Cycling’s Quest to Conquer the Tour de France, will also be published by HarperSport in June 2011.