Cancellara wins Strade Bianchi, terrifies world.

 

Hi, I like gravel.

 

Let the Swiss champion sum up Strade Bianchi, the race over the White Gravel, the Italian ode to Flanders and Roubaix, in four simple words: “I ride to win.”

Hell yeah.

Almost sounds like another champion named Philippe Gilbert of megasquad BMC — but he only finished 48th and only third in his own red and black. He has some explaining to do and we look forward to the rationales.

No, Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan Trek) showed a return to his dominant form by smoking everyone with two legs who dared show up in Tuscany. He won solo, he won without question, he served notice for the near and ferocious future.

The move, with about 12k to go, was definitive and there was very little argument. One moment Van Avermaet was, as the cycling cliche goes, “animating” the race and then a moment later he was “spectating” the race.There is a big and painful difference.

We won’t be the first observer to note that Cancellara lacked a certain Je ne sais KILL, he rocked on the pedals and it wasn’t a replay of his Flanders-Roubaix double of two years ago but it was close. If you’re Hushovd, Gilbert or Boonen, seeing Cancellara “close” to form is scary. He turned the big gear, he didn’t look back, the pretenders flailed with their bikes to no avail.

Twisted Spoke sends out the Renshaw award to Max Igilinsky who basically elbowed and body slammed Oscar Gatto (Farnese Vini) out of second place. We were a little surprised the commissars let that one pass. And double surprised that Oscar the Cat barely acknowledged the relegation from second to third. Buddy, you were sleeping in that final corner, wake up. Russians don’t hand out freebies.

Once again the BMC monster juggernaut was shut out and there is nothing worse than the fourth and fifth spots, the almost podium positions. Van Avermat and Ballan drove the race but couldn’t close the deal. From here on out, we’re tagging the Italian with Wrong Way Ballan. If Big George Hincapie was riding alongside, that never would have happened. That’s the value of experience: shouting LEFT, LEFT, LEFT!!!!

If you could sum up Strade Bianchi in one word instead of Cancellara’s four, the word would be “ominous.” After a series of frustrations and almosts and marked-outs, Cancellara is showing signs of a return to dominance.

That’s exciting news for us fans but a terrifying development for every man who thinks he can ride the cobblestones really really fast.

 

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3 Responses to “Cancellara wins Strade Bianchi, terrifies world.”

  1. Is there an issue with replies on the site ? I dont see the normal number of replies that you get and I have tried submitting one as Higgins and the site hasnt shown it…I would understand if you had chosen to delete my comment, but im wondering whether its something wrong with how the site is working ?

    • Midlife, yes, I'e noticed the drop off myself and I'm not happy about that. It does appear something is not functioning correctly. I see what I can do and thanks for the heads up. Matt

  2. After last year being a poor one for him, its nice to see the Swiss time machine back to something like his best. There is nothing better than watching someone ride away from the opposition uphill without even getting out of the saddle. I suspect that's even more demoralizing than getting 'the look'.