There are those days when you feel fast - your legs feel fast, your reactions are fast, your brain feels fast, your bike feels fast, and the guys you ride with just roll their eyes and go "oh no - it's not going to be pretty today". You love being on the bike and want to ride forever. I like to think of those days as "Channeling Cancellara". Not just because Fabian Cancellara is fast, but because he loves being fast and is a REALLY nice guy. That makes fast fun.
I've been lucky enough to be around him twice at the Tour of California, hang while he was warming up on the trainer for the Prologue once in San Francisco and last year in Sacramento. And even when the guy was cooking up a 103 degree temp with the flu, and would have to drop out the next day in the monsoon, he was still kind, gentle and accommodating - and bloody fast!
Today he scorched the field in Mendrisio, on home turf, in the UCI World TT Championships; if scorched can aptly describe that kinda fast. At the first check point of the 48.7km, three circuit course, Cancellara was already 38 secs up on the nearest rival Tony Martin and flying away. At the 25.7km mark he was 1:17 faster, and moments later he "humiliated Wiggins and Sebastien Rosseler, who had started two and four minutes ahead of him respectively, by overtaking the pair.", as VeloNews put it.
Again from the Velonews article, “I don’t know if it was the best time trial of my life, but I knew that I would be very fast today,” Cancellara said. “My legs were strong, but my head was even stronger today.”
Britain’s David Millar tagged it when he said he’d “rather race for the win in the road race than second in the time trial" - that's coming from the guy that just won the final TT in the Vuelta. And really that's the point, Cancellara defines fast. To paraphrase a line from the movie Bull Durham, it's as if the gods looked down and turned your legs into thunderbolts, you've been given a gift. The really great thing is, Fabian knows it, appreciates it, and is respectfully humble about it - how the hell can you NOT want to channel THAT?
Today, even Cancellara was channeling Cancellara, and that made fast fun, very fun!
Photo: Casey B. Gibson