In response to Velonews’ pre-race question “sprint or break”, the answer is “no”. Drawing obvious comparisons to last year’s staggering TdF stage win at Compeigne, Fabian Cancellara once again turned savvy, raw power and a confusing race situation into a glorious breakaway win.
While TT riders can be notoriously poor performers in tense, tactical race situations (see Zulle, Alex), Fabian Cancellara has shown he can outfox classics riders on the cobbles and sprinters on the tarmac, making him one of the most versatile riders in the peloton. He can’t really be discounted from any races less hilly than Lombardia. Let’s not forget, Cance challenged Boonen all the way to the line in a 4-up sprint at last year’s E3.
And to those who may wonder why no one was marking the obviously dangerous CSC rider in the closing kilometers of Saturday’s event, after 300km and the sharp climbs/hair raising descents of the Cipressa and Poggio, there’s simply no way to combat the San Remo entropy. As when Petacchi went from too far out, or Zabel celebrated too early, the Via Roma has a way of keeping things unpredictable.