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Cancellara Says Farewell to Strade Bianche with Victory

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March 5, 2016 – Swiss veteran Fabian Cancellara proved his legs are as strong as ever ahead of the Spring Classics season as he won the Strade Bianche race for the third time in Italy on Saturday. The Trek-Segafredo rider out sprinted Czech Zdenek Stybar, last year’s winner, at the finish in Siena, with the latter’s Etixx-Quick Step team-mate Gianluca Brambilla of Italy finishing third four seconds back.

AFP/ANSA / PERI – CARCONI

“This year I really want to go out with a bang,” said Cancellara, riding in his 16th and final season as a professional. “I want to thank all my team-mates for supporting me today, and all these years. This is just amazing!”

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“The most decisive moment was when Peter made the acceleration, and I managed to jump up to him and Stybar,” continued Cancellara. “It wasn’t a big collaboration between us because we are all big riders, plus Etixx had a team game to play. I think my work in the last 5 kilometers was risky, but it was the only way. I knew that Stybar is a cyclocross guy, so I had to be careful for him. He won last year as well, and he is very good at this last climb. I am very, very happy. Third time… and now they will name a white gravel section after me, and that’s exciting.”

Fabian Cancellara wins the 2016 Strade Bianche
Fabian Cancellara wins the 2016 Strade Bianche

Photo Courtesy: Trek-Segafredo PR

World champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia was fourth at 13sec at the end of the 176km race around southern Tuscany known for its white gravel roads. Cancellara, 34, who is riding his 16th and final season in the professional peloton, is a three-time winner of both Paris Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. He missed both events last year after breaking two vertebrae in a crash at the first cobbled classic of the season, E3 Harelbeke in early March. Norway’s Alexander Kristoff succeed him as Tour of Flanders champion, while John Degenkolb of Germany won Paris-Roubaix.

Results: Strade Bianche, 176km
1. Fabian Cancellara (SUI/Trek-Segafredo) 4hr 39min 35sec
2. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/Etixx) same time
3. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/Etixx) at 04sec
4. PeterSagan (SVK/Tinkoff) 13
5. Petr Vakoc (CZE/Etixx) 34
6. Greg van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 37
7. Diego Ulissi (ITA/Lampre) 41
8. Tiesj Benoot (BEL/Lotto) s.t.
9. Lars Peter Nordhaug (NOR/Sky) s.t.
10. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/Movistar) 50.