28 Mar 2008
He did declare it so clearly and insistently on TV and newspapers, almost to the point that we could also read it on all the walls of the 99th edition of Milan-San Remo: "I'll try to attack there, at the end of the descent from Poggio, a little less than 2 km from the finish; I'll try to attack alone so to anticipate the sprinters."
Fabian Cancellara held true to his words.
Coming out of an impressive display of power and extraordinary form in Tirreno-Adriatico, he took with full merit the Spring Classicissima.
Never really in trouble on the climbs, notwithstanding the good pace on the Cipressa (climbed in 10'10") and especially on the Poggio (5'55", second best time ever, after Giorgio Furlan's 5'45" in 94), he exploded his overwhelming power just at the bottom of the final descent.
Finding himself 10-15m ahead of the leading group almost involuntarily, he simply took off at the right time and the right place.
Allowing a 20 m gap to such a strong Cancellara on the final flat 2 km means competing for second place: Fabian was capable of expressing an average output of about 700-800 watts on the last 2' of the race.
None of the 12 riders in the lead is capable of sustaining such power, except maybe for Thor Hushovd, who just like Freire didn't have any fuel left in the legs, probably due to the high climbing pace of the day.
The freshest rider (Pozzato) in the moment of the not-so-unexpected attack by Cancellara was playing tactics around 8-10th position, being unable to seize the opportunity.