And it was good opposition. Silver went to the USA’s Dave Zabriskie, and Alexandre Vinoukorov took bronze – a fine performance from the Kazakh warrior, off the back of his Vuelta triumph. Cancellara’s ride is all the more impressive when you realize that Vino’ was 1’ 50” behind!
Fabian Cancellara was the dominating winner of the 2006 World Men’s TT Championship – Zabriskie followed in 2nd, Vino in 3rd.
The only other man to get within 2 minutes of Fab this afternoon was his CSC team-mate Brian Vandborg, representing Denmark.
The Swiss was on fire from the starting ramp, whirring a smaller gear than a lot of his rivals, but doing so at blistering pace. He flew through both checkpoints with the quickest times, stretching his lead over Zabriskie from 18 seconds at the 10km point, to 56 seconds at 35kms, and up to 1’ 30” at the finish.
Zabriskie was fast today, but not fast enough to deal with the Swiss Onslaught.
Zabriskie was hammering along in his big gears, and it looked like it was hurting him, but he stayed tucked and set what would have been a competitive time if Cancellara hadn’t been on such form.
Vino just did what he always does, putting everything into his effort rocking and rolling in the saddle. He just did enough to bump Vandborg off the podium.
Vino looked good, and has to like his chances come Sunday in the big game.
Seb Lang won the TT and overall at the 3-Lander Tour last week but he had no answer to Cancellara this afternoon, although he did make the top 5.
Three-time defending champion (I feel like I should be a boxing ring announcer with that one) Mick Rogers failed to produce his customary strong finish and wound up 8th. He’ll be bitterly disappointed, but the legs just didn’t seem to be there for the champ today.
CSC was dominant today (if that counts) – putting 3 in the Top 4.
Cancellara, however, was right on top of his game, and made up for his near miss at the Vuelta, where Britain’s Dave Millar beat him by a gnat’s whisker. Apparently, Cancellara was almost smashing the hotel room, rock-stylee, in despair at that defeat.
No danger of a repeat today as Millar looked off the pace and finished in 15th. Other disappointing rides came from pre-race tip Andreas Kloden who finished nowhere – well, 27th if we’re being pedantic. World hour record man Ondrej Sosenka was 32nd, and Lazslo Bodrogi of Hungary, always a dark horse, came home 19th.
Millar didn’t ride the best TT of his life, but 15th isn’t anything to cough at.
As is normal with TTs, the early pacesetters were made to look pretty ordinary by the fastest guys. Even riders like Canada’s Svein Tuft who posted what was the fastest time when he finished was almost 5 minutes back, and that was way beyond the sort of time 99% of us could hope to do.
Talk about fast – an average of 50km/h over the tough Salzburg course is amazing.
But it’s Cancellara’s title, and he gets to replace his classic Swiss red with white cross jersey with the rainbow jersey. Not sure it actually looks any better, but what it means is much more important.
The big showpiece road races hit on the weekend – ladies on Saturday and gentlemen on Sunday. Keep it Pez for all the Worlds news, racing, gossip and innuendo.
World Championship: Elite Mens’ TT Salzburg, Austria 50.8kms
1 Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) 1hr 00’ 11”
2 David Zabriskie (United States Of America) + 1’ 30”
3 Alexandr Vinokurov (Kazakhstan) + 1’ 50”
4 Brian Bach Vandborg (Denmark) + 1’ 53”
5 Sebastian Lang (Germany) + 2’ 09”
6 Vasili Kiryienka (Belarus) + 2’ 14”
7 Leif Hoste (Belgium) + 2’ 32”
8 Michael Rogers (Australia) same time
9 Andriy Grivko (Ukraine) + 2’ 45”
10Vladimir Gusev (Russian Federation) + 2’ 54”