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I am Spartacus! A fit and healthy Cancellara slays all comers!

Fabian Cancellara nicknamed “Spartacus” completed an amazing three weeks by winning Paris-Roubaix for the second time on Sunday. When he is fit and healthy like this Cancellara is almost invincible and completely dominated this Hell of the North!

Tom Boonen had said again he would try to stay with Cancellara, but was really caught napping when Fabian rode away from a strong group with nearly 50km still to go! Do you think Boonen is having nightmares about the image of Cancellara disappearing into the distance at the moment?

Boonen had looked strong and motivated to this point and had been riding aggressively to reduce the group. Apparently Saxo boss Bjarne Riis radioed Cancellara to attack when he saw Boonen drift to the back of the break. It looked like Tom didn’t even see Cancellara go!

The problem with marking Cancellara at the moment is he is fast enough to go at 1km and strong enough to go at 50km and once he gets any gap it’s usually game over!

Boonen was unable to get much support from the chase group and was clearly getting more and more frustrated that he had been outsmarted and outridden by Cancellara for the third Sunday in a row in “his races”. To be honest there is no shame in being beaten by Cancellara at the moment – he is clearly on a level above the rest. One other factor here was the headwind and most of the chase group looked too tired to help much with the work.

Whatever the reason Cancellara opened up the gap to 3 minutes just tapping out the watts all the way to Roubaix.

Juan-Antonio Flecha and Thor Hushovd escaped before the finish to complete the podium, with Hushovd getting the better of Flecha in the sprint. The demoralised looking Boonen’s day wasn’t getting any better as he got outsprinted by Roger Hammond for fourth.

So all the talk this week has been can Cancellara win the Tour and beat the Hour Record? Hour record – definitely, maybe with one leg!

The Tour? The theory is drop a few kilos like Wiggins did and become a Tour winner in the style of Miguel Indurain. I’m not so sure about this one, the Tour has moved on since Miguel. Cancellara has a bigger frame than someone like Wiggins who is naturally more skinny, plus he doesn’t look as strong in the TT at the end of a three week Tour as he does at the beginning, so recovery may be an issue.

However, the biggest hurdle will be the same one everyone else has – Alberto Contador! When Contador is fit and healthy he is the best climber, the best TT rider (after 3 weeks of racing!) and has good recovery.

So I think Cancellara can win most events he focuses on, but beating Contador at the Tour, we will have to wait and see!


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