Discuss: Is Cancellara Still the World’s Best?

Fotoreporter Sirotti


After losing individual time trials to Tony Martin at the Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana, and now, the World Championships, is  Fabian Cancellara no longer the world’s best against the clock? Has the mantle been passed?


About Whit

My experiences might easily fit many cycling fans' definitions of “living the dream.” Since getting hooked on the sport watching Lance Armstrong win the 1993 U.S. Pro Championship, I've raced as an amateur on Belgian cobbles, traveled Europe to help build a European pro team, and piloted that team from Malaysia to Mont Ventoux. As a former assistant director sportif with Mercury-Viatel, I've also seen the less dreamy side of the sport – the side rife with broken contracts, infighting, and positive dope tests. These days, I live with my lovely wife in Pennsylvania and share my experiences and views on the sport at Bicycling Magazine, the Embrocation Cycling Journal, and at my own site, Pavé.
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11 Responses to Discuss: Is Cancellara Still the World’s Best?

  1. jsy says:

    maybe, maybe not… 2 near crashes with, or perhaps because of, an improper bike fit and still finishing 3rd in that field to me means that it's not over just yet.

    • Ellie says:

      Agreed. Fabu even said he felt that he wasn't 100% and you have to be. He's got a lot of mileage in those legs and
      with the "near misses" really did exceptionally well. Let's not write him off yet! Sheeze!

  2. Alex says:

    Could it be the bike?

    Victories have come by the throngs on Specialized.

  3. Jeff B says:

    Improper bike fit? Where's that coming from (I'm intrigued that something like that could happen to the best time trial rider of my lifetime)?

    • jsy says:

      watch footage of FC and you'll see an awful lot of rocking of the hips and constant readjustment of his position as he rides… this seemed pretty unusual for FC.

  4. Neil says:

    Nah, I doubt it. Martin's avg speed was around what Cancellara has achieved in previous years. Clearly something wasn't quite right considering he kept coming up onto the bars instead of staying in an aero tuck. He's not had a great season either when you compare it to the previous year so his confidence is probably a bit down too. I think he'll move teams this winter and be back with a vengeance next year. I definitely wouldn't count him out for the Olympic gold next year.

  5. Erik says:

    Maybe being marked so much in the spring classics has made him lose a bit of motivation. I kinda think he could be trying to fly under the radar for Sunday's road race.

  6. Zach says:

    I don't necessarily agree with an improper bike fit, I'm sure Trek and himself included would make it right. As well, the time differences are too large to blame bikes or equipment.

    What I believe needs to be highlighted is the increased pressure Fabian was perhaps under this season as Leopard-Trek had its breakout year. Pressure can hurt some riders and cause them to under perform.

  7. Joe says:

    Tony Martin deserves his win(s), he totally smashed the competition, but Fabian legitimizes his victory. To truely win the world championships you must beat the worlds best. Tony has had two killer years 2010, 2011, he's definitely the man to watch in the coming years, that being said… Fabian, in my eyes, is still top dog for consistency, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him steal the rainbow stripes back next year.

  8. Kevin says:

    Trek is the Ford of bicycles :)….Fabian is not having the best of years. Tony looked far stronger this season.

  9. George says:

    Spartacus was not his usual world dominating self since the spring classics and of course during the Tour, Vuelta and Worlds, so he definitely had a very sub-par year, especially compared to last year. I do not believe it was due to a bike fit. I mean if I can get a bike fot for $200usd, these superpros can get a much better one easily. I would blame it mostly on the pressure laid on him and the Schlecks to win everything from cobbled classics, to the Tour to the Worlds. It's very likely we will see another FC next year, the one we were used to see on team Saxo Bank.

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