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NEW: ISSUE 18.7 NOW AVAILABLE

Fabian Cancellara: doing the double at Flanders and Roubaix

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Private jets, boozy post-Flanders celebrations and banging hangovers. How will he go at Roubaix? Not bad, it transpires…

Photographs: Paolo Ciaberta
Fabian Cancellara, Paolo Ciaberta

Late March, 2013, and Fabian Cancellara is preparing for Flanders and Roubaix in less than ideal conditions. Leopard-Trek general manager Luca Guercilena arrives at Fabian’s house to supervise final training.

 

Fabian: Luca [Guercilena] came on a Tuesday night. De Ronde was on Sunday. And he didn’t know about my plan. But I knew I had to hire a private jet. The weather was shit and was going to stay shit, and I knew I was going to get grumpy and angry, because I could see our preparation would be bad, and it would mean that four months of training was gone. I just knew it. So in the morning, this is Wednesday, he goes: argh. The weather is bad. How are we going to put in all the hours we need? And I go: let’s find the sun. We’ll fly to Calpe.

 

Morten: Haha!

 

Fabian: Wait. So we go. We called a soigneur in Benidorm to come meet us. We flew down, put the bike together, and we trained for three hours behind the moto. Boom. Back to the hotel for a massage. Food. A good night’s sleep. Next day is Thursday. Race is on Sunday, right. Up in the morning. Breakfast. Out on the bike again. Six hours motor-pacing. Boom. Then we drive to the airport. Some food. We fly home. I get a massage from Sabine, and I’ve done the last preparations.

 

Fabian Cancellara, Paolo Ciaberta

Morten: You’re sleeping like a baby.

 

Fabian: Boom. Then on the Friday we fly to Belgium. My family is there. Sabine. Everyone in the jet. I arrive and go for a small spin. Boom. Saturday there is a press conference, and Sunday I win the race.

 

Morten: Boom!

 

Fabian: We drink all night! I tell you. Riders were waking up Monday afternoon. And Wednesday was Scheldeprijs. We are looking at each other. Let’s just ride it and get the system back running. No one goes deep. We save the energy for Sunday.

 

Fabian Cancellara, Paolo Ciaberta

Morten: Say it.

 

Fabian: Boom! Win again. Now the riders are drunk on the bus again. Same thing. Party, party!

 

Morten: That’s a great story!

 

Fabian: I tell you. That jet cost me €18,000. But I knew the reward in the end. Yes. It was a memorable week.

 

Read the full interview by Morten Okbo with Cancellara in issue 18.2, on sale Friday, March 9