Fabian Cancellara set to retire in 2016

'Spartacus' wants to go out at the top of his game, has no wish to carry on into his 40s

by John Stevenson   February 14, 2014  

Fabian Cancellara on his way to victory in the 2013 Tour of Flanders (CC licensed image by Brendan A Ryan:Flickr)

Professional rider Fabian 'Sparatacus' Cancellara looks set to retire when his current contract with the Trek Factory Racing team ends. He has once again indicated that he is unlikely to ride past 2016, and has no wish to carry on racing into his 40s.

"I have a three-year contract and then it's over," Cancellara told Barry Ryan of Cyclingnews.com. "I have a three-year contract and in my opinion it doesn't look like there will be a fourth or fifth year because it will be sixteen years as a professional. I don't feel tired although once in a while I feel tired, and that's normal. That's not going against Jens [Voigt] or Chris Horner but you will not see me riding the bike at their age."

Voigt and Horner have been the standard-bearers for long careers, with Voigt still racing this season alongside Cancellara at 42, while Horner became the oldest ever winner of a grand tour when he won the Vuelta a España last year shortly before his 42nd birthday.

But rather than carrying on as a super-domestique, Cancellara, who will be 35 in 2016, wants to go out while he’s still in top form.

"I think of course I will stop on the highest level," he said. "In my situation, I can't wait until I'm down here, that's normal. I could stop now and I would not have a problem to find new ambitions, but I would still miss something. I feel like I'm not finished yet with what I want to achieve. There's still some time left, but there's many options after and I'm not scared of that."

However, he does plan to remain involved with cycling.

"I want to bring something back to cycling," Cancellara said. "I have a few ambitions to bring cycling back to another level, and this will be the next thing I do.

"I think cycling is now somewhere a political mess with all the new things that are coming. We have still this big mess with the races and the rules. I think I will be a strong opinion-maker afterwards. Now it's difficult because I'm still a rider, because when you talk as a rider you get singled out. But when you finish, you're free with what you want to do."

Four-time world time trial champion, three-time winner of the Paris-Roubaix Classic and the rider who has spent most days in the Tour de France yellow jersey without actually winning the race, Cancellara is reported to be planning an attempt on the Hour Record this year.

He was the first member of the former RadioShack team to sign up when Trek acquired the squad’s UCI ProTeam licence last year, but hinted even then that this might be his last professional deal.

13 user comments

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He'll surely get at least one more Monument between now and then - 3 more years of epic battles between him and Boonen!

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posted by mtm_01 [90 posts]
14th February 2014 - 15:41

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Awwwwh, Fabian is my fav - it'll suck not seeing his face on t'telleh. But good for him for doing what he wants Smile <3

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
14th February 2014 - 16:23

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He has been bullet proof over the years when accused of doping and having an engine in his seat tube.

He looks to have got away with it so fair play and good luck in the twilight of your career Fab.

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posted by jimmythecuckoo [1242 posts]
14th February 2014 - 17:27

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What's the latest on his Hour record attempt?

I think him giving it a crack in Manchester is out of the window but it would be good to see it happen, regardless of venue.

posted by farrell [1398 posts]
14th February 2014 - 17:36

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farrell wrote:
What's the latest on his Hour record attempt?

I think him giving it a crack in Manchester is out of the window but it would be good to see it happen, regardless of venue.

He is doing it in Majorca isnt he?
Not as glamorous as Eastlands and he can't nip into ASDA afterwards for an all day breakfast.
His loss

posted by Some Fella [744 posts]
14th February 2014 - 19:55

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I do have a soft spot for Fabian; he's been such an amazing ambassador for cycling in his career so far and I have no doubt he could be a powerful positive force in influencing its future shape.

For now though I can't wait to see him and Tommeke fight it out on the cobbles and hellingen!

posted by Metjas [281 posts]
14th February 2014 - 21:11

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Never heard a negative word on Cancellara, amidst all the recent turmoil cyclings been through he's been an absolute inspiration. Hour record, Paris Roubaix x 2 would see him out.

posted by Flying Heron [31 posts]
14th February 2014 - 21:23

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Yep, Luigi's been clean as a whistle.

posted by Paul J [596 posts]
14th February 2014 - 21:40

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Sad of course that whenever a rider makes a statement about their broader career, we automatically turn our thoughts to chemical cheating.

Like many cycling fans, I'm a huge Spartacist. But I honestly wouldn't be blown away were it to be revealed that he'd doped. Would I remain a fan? Probably, if I'm honest. I hope he's clean of course.

Doping or not, he's a handsome hunk of man. A mile away from the emaciated voluntary-anorexic look that typifies today's pro peloton.

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posted by Ghedebrav [1091 posts]
14th February 2014 - 23:23

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3 years? Just enough to become the World Champion in road race 3 times in a row! Yay! Applause

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posted by mikroos [181 posts]
15th February 2014 - 6:53

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'Sparatacus' ? No. I'm Sparatacus!

Silly me. You're probably right....

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posted by MercuryOne [1056 posts]
15th February 2014 - 11:57

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Some Fella wrote:
farrell wrote:
What's the latest on his Hour record attempt?

I think him giving it a crack in Manchester is out of the window but it would be good to see it happen, regardless of venue.

He is doing it in Majorca isnt he?
Not as glamorous as Eastlands and he can't nip into ASDA afterwards for an all day breakfast.
His loss

Or Donington if he's on a motorbike?

posted by ray silvester [1808 posts]
15th February 2014 - 14:55

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Some Fella wrote:
farrell wrote:
What's the latest on his Hour record attempt?

I think him giving it a crack in Manchester is out of the window but it would be good to see it happen, regardless of venue.

He is doing it in Majorca isnt he?
Not as glamorous as Eastlands and he can't nip into ASDA afterwards for an all day breakfast.
His loss

Yep, sod him. If he doesn't want to roll down the finest sand filled segregated cycle lanes Manchester has to offer before jibbing across the tram tracks and then the bridge over the canal before considering giving the Full-Pipe a bash then he really doesn't know how to enjoy life.

Let him have his Majorca, with their sun and their shine. Bet won't get a decent pint of Holt's anywhere in Majorca, let alone anywhere as welcoming and inviting as The Bradford in Miles Platting. He doesn't even know he's born.

posted by farrell [1398 posts]
17th February 2014 - 12:15

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