Fabian Cancellara started off his final team training camp with a bang — quite literally — when he crashed Wednesday during a spin with his Trek Factory Racing teammates.
Cancellara, who suffered through an injury-filled 2015 season, did not appear seriously hurt and will continue to train along Spain’s Mediterranean coast with his Trek teammates.
Earlier in the week, Cancellara made the rounds with Belgian media before traveling to Spain. Speaking to Belgian TV as well as the written press, Cancellara said he’d love to go out with one more major win to add to his palmares in what will be his final season in the peloton.
“I’d like write one more big story,” Cancellara told Het Nieuwsblad. “If I cannot, I won’t be crying. I’ve won every major race I’ve targeted. That gives me peace of mind. I don’t have a [road race] world title, and that affects me more than if I cannot manage to win one more big race in my final season.”
Cancellara, 34, also expressed his surprise at media reaction to comments he made to Swiss television in November that the 2016 season would be his last. Cancellara said he’s made it clear for a long time that next season will be his last, but that didn’t stop his comments from going viral last month.
“It was a bit odd that my announcement causes such a commotion,” he continued. “I didn’t think it was a big secret that I was going to stop at the end of 2016. I’ve had that in my mind for a long time, but I suppose not everyone realized it.”
Cancellara said he’s motivated for one more big classics campaign, and likely one more final clash with longtime rival Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quick-Step). The Belgian superstar hasn’t confirmed if he will retire this season, leaving the door open to race at least another season if he wants to. For Cancellara, he said he’s ready to pack it in.
“I make it plain that this is my last season. Boonen has his own plans, I have mine,” Cancellara said. “Physically, I know I can still be up in the peloton, but mentally, it’s too much. Cycling is not everything in my life.”
Zoidl crashes, breaks collarbone
In other Trek team news, Riccardo Zoidl also crashed Wednesday and suffered a four-part fracture to his left collarbone. According to a team doctor, Zoidl will return to his home in Austria, where he will undergo surgery this week. The crash came during the first ride of the team’s 10-day training camp in Spain.
“We knew that this roundabout was slippery as four or five guys crashed in the group ahead of us, and so we took it easy,” Zoidl said in a team release. “I was sliding a little bit, but I could handle it and thought I was safe, and then my teammate next to me crashed and went directly into my front wheel and I flipped over. We were not going fast, maybe 10-15kph, but it was really, really slippery. I think a total of 10 of us crashed there.
“I was super disappointed in the first five minutes after it happened, but now I have come to terms with it,” he continued. “This is the second time for me and I was really nervous the first time I broke my collarbone, but now I know what to expect with the rehab. It’s a shame that it was a short training camp for me, but everything in life has a reason.”