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Fabian Cancellara

Fabian Cancellara (Image credit: Sirotti)

Cancellara swoops with stunning attack

By Shane Stokes in Compiegne, France

It's often said that wearing a maillot jaune adds strength to a rider, and this certainly seems to be the case with Fabian Cancellara. Last month he won the opening prologue of the Tour de Suisse and rode out of his skin the following two days in defence of his lead. He finished third in a bunch gallop on stage two and then climbed very strongly the next afternoon to remain at the head of affairs.

Cancellara may have taken many of his career wins in the time trial, but put a yellow jersey on his back and he considerably raises his game. Today's race to Compiegne underlined that perfectly. Inspired by his hold on the general classification and also, perhaps, by the fact that he won a Paris-Roubaix which departed from this town, the big Swiss rider thundered over the cobbles just before the final kilometre, shot out of the main bunch shortly afterwards to bridge to the four breakaway riders, then continued on past them to scoop the win.

Erik Zabel (Milram), Danilo Napolitano (Lampre) and Tom Boonen (QuickStep - Innergetic) were closest to him but couldn't get by before the line.

"I didn't think that I could win this stage today," he said afterwards, delighted with his third ever Tour stage victory. "I only wanted to get to the finish and not crash. It was a very long day, seven hours on the bicycle. The wind made it very difficult, we couldn't go any faster. We are not machines.

To read the full interview with Fabian Cancellara, click here.

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