Dutch courage from Cancellara

This year's Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders champion Fabian Cancellara has admitted that despite not preparing specifically for today's Tour de France prologue in Rotterdam, he's feeling good.

Cancellara has a glorious history on the Tour's opening day, having won the prologue of the 2004 edition in Liège, the prologue of the 2007 edition in London and the opening stage of last year's Tour in Monaco.

He'll go into today's 8.9km test against the clock in the Dutch city as one of the favourites, although he wasn't making big declarations about his chances during a press conference yesterday.

"I'm feeling a lot better than at the prologue at the Tour de Suisse and that for me is a huge sign that I'm on the right path to where I want to be," said Cancellara.

"The last few days have been stress and we did the parcours of the cobbles, with a lot of traffic but I had a really, really good sleep in the afternoon; I'm feeling good and it's up to me on the road tomorrow. I'm just looking forward.

"I'm motivated. I've not done much specific work but I did do some motor pacing to keep the rhythm going," he added.

Befitting his record on the Tour's opening day, Cancellara will have a target on his back for those looking to upstage the favourites; the likes of Tony Martin, who showed great form during last month's Tour de Suisse, is one of those aiming for an early taste of yellow.

"It's hard to say whether [Tony] Martin is my biggest rival for tomorrow," said Cancellara. "It's almost a time trial tomorrow and sure he may have the power but you need to be really explosive as well. It's a fast course and he's starting early, like Wiggins.

"I have Lance in front of me and that's a big motivation to have a rider like that one minute ahead. It's something positive for me and I'll use it to my advantage.

"I want to give my best, hope that everything goes perfect and see what happens."

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.