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Spartacus Ready For Battle

By Tim Maloney European Editor

Fabian Cancellara (Fassa Bortolo) was disappointed for a while with his Stage 1 time trial performance, as the Swiss TT champ had hoped for another maillot jaune like the one he won in last year's Tour de France prologue in Liege. "This race has been too fast! Unbelieveably fast," said Cancellara. "From the first kilometer, the race pace is really fast. Up until now, we're ridden at such a fast average speed! Now the mountains are coming but I hope it doesn't keep going as fast and aggressive as it has in the first week. Saturday and Sunday weren't that good for me. My strategy for the Alps is to just stay in the grupetto until the flat stages when I can go on the attack. Then I'll be in the front looking to get in the right break."

Nicknamed Spartacus by his Fassa Bortolo teammates for his resemblance to a youthful Kirk Douglas, Cancellara is seen by many in cycling as a major player in the classics and is being courted by many ProTour teams for 2006, including Discovery Channel.

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