Fabian Cancellara: “The person is not Spartacus”

“It’s all about the person, and the person is not Spartacus…”
Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) is preparing for his toughest test, and while the winner of multiple Monument Classics, time-trial World Championships and Grand Tour stages has little to fear on the bike, he is keenly aware that retirement might present a different challenge entirely.
The Swiss powerhouse is among the greatest riders of his generation, but the prospect of life away from racing, when he retires at the end of the 2016 season, is not one he is taking lightly.
“The step from a sports person toward being a ‘normal person’ is always hard because it’s a mental thing,” Cancellara says.
“Of course, you can see what you achieved, what you earned, and this helps you a bit, but you cannot survive if you’re not mentally ready. It could crack you. You can have so much of what you want, so many victories, but this is not all it’s about.”
Cancellara’s unflinching insights will be broadcast in a new series on Eurosport, titled #FOLLOWFABIAN. The six, 12-minute episodes will be aired on the various channels (television and the online Eurosport Player) over the next six months.
For fans of Cancellara – three-times a winner both of De Ronde and Roubaix, and four-times world time-trial champion – the series promises a rare insight into the private world of a rider dubbed ‘Spartacus’.

Eurosport’s producers are promising “behind-the-scenes footage and revealing interviews”, beginning with a visit to Cancellara’s bike and trophy room.
He reflects on a career low, at the London Olympic Games in 2012, where injuries sustained in a crash in the men’s road race cost him a chance of a gold medal in the subsequent time-trial. Cancellara rolled out in Hampton Court as defending champion, having been crowned Olympic champion in Beijing, four years earlier.
“After the fall in London, I didn’t ride for a long time,” Cancellara reflects. “I was just empty, blind….I still believe that the gold medal was there.”
The Swiss also describes plans for his final season, including targeting the maglia rosa at the Giro d’Italia, a prize he describes as “something missing” from his career.
And he confronts historic allegations of so-called motor doping head on, describing those who accused him of using an electrically-assisted bike after his crushing victories in the 2010 Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix as “idiots”.
“I was on the couch seeing all this [unfold]. I remember I had a Belgian beer next to me – in front of ‘the bike’. I was looking at the news and was like, “Oh damn, you’re idiots!” If they want, they can come to my home and take my bike, because it is there.”
The first episode will air at 4.45pm GMT tomorrow (Saturday March 5) on Eurosport TV and Eurosport Player.
Read our revealing interview with Fabian Cancellara in 1 #60

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