Fabian Cancellara riding for Trek Factory Racing has withdrawn from this year’s Tour De France following a spinal fracture. He was one of the twenty participants involved in the horrific crash on this Monday’s stage. The crash was triggered by William Bonnet (FDJ). This could be his last tour, with his contract with Trek Factory up in 2016. This is the second time this year the Swiss cyclist has suffered such injuries.
Nicknamed ‘Spartacus,’ he began his cycling carrier in 1998 winning the Junior Time Trial Championship. He earned his first major victory at the 2004 Tour de France where he won the opening prologue time trial and wore the yellow jersey for one day. Overall, Fabian Cancellara has worn the Maillot Juane at the Tour de France on 29 different stages throughout his career. That places him currently (before stage 5 of the 2015 Tour de France) on 11th all-time. He also has the distinction of having worn the Yellow Jersey the most number of times, without winning the Tour.
Cancellara primarily has had success as a time trial and classic specialist having won 1 Milan-San Remo, 3 Tour of Flanders, 3 wins at the E3 Harelbeke, 3 Paris-Roubaix and a silver medal in the 2008 summer Olympics. To go with those accolades, he has 11 Grand Tour Stage wins (8 tour de France and 3 Vuelta a Espana), 9 time Swiss national time trial champion, 2 time national road racing champion and a 4 time winner of the UCI World Time Trial Championships. He has won some stage wins including the Tour of Oman and Tour of Switzerland
He was also a fantastic team player and a workhorse for his teammates in the general classification of stage races. Off the saddle, his fans and fellow professionals respect him for the way he conducts himself in his personal life being a typical friendly, family man. With Cancellara hinting the 2015 Tour would be his last, and that he wants to pick the right moment to retire from Pro-cycling, his time here is coming to an end. Indeed, it is sad to see such a distinguished individual leave the sport, but it has been a privilege to watch Cancellara compete through these years.