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Fabian Cancellara is tanned, rested, and ready. After what he described as a season full of “ups and downs,” the veteran Swiss star is already thinking ahead.
Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) is home for the holidays, but a busy team training camp along the Spanish coast earlier this month left him eager and motivated for the season ahead.
“My batteries are charged,” he said in an interview on the team’s website. “Everything is on schedule.”
Cancellara, 33, was once again a force to be reckoned with in the classics this year, winning Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) and notching podiums at Milano-Sanremo (second) and Paris-Roubaix (third). But the rest of the season, by his own admission, was less than expected, especially without a stage win at the Tour de France or a rainbow jersey in the UCI Road World Championships, where he was 11th.
“Flanders is not enough. I am not satisfied,” he said. “There were ups and downs, and I was not so consistent, maybe. … Close the book, and look ahead.”
Cancellara will return to the Middle East to ramp up his season, with likely starts at the Tours of Qatar and Oman before returning to Milano-Sanremo and the Belgian classics.
With the retirement of Andy Schleck and the arrival of Bauke Mollema, the team will be leaning on Cancellara even more for early-season results. The arrival of Gert Steegmans from Omega Pharma-Quick Step will only bolster Trek’s already formidable classics squad.
Cancellara has also indicated he will retire at the end of the 2016 season, meaning he is taking a more philosophical approach to what could be his final two seasons in the pro ranks.
“It doesn’t make me scared, more it makes me think,” Cancellara said of looming retirement. “I just want to enjoy every moment. What I won, I have, and nobody can take that away. I don’t feel any pressure.”