Fabian Cancellara is currently in Belgium where he is due to take part in an exhibition race tomorrow evening in Ghent. The multiple Classics winner will race at the Kuipke velodrome against Bradley Wiggins, Sep Vanmarcke and Filippo Pozzato in a 2-kilometre pursuit at the famous track.

He said though that he’s not feeling so sharp since retirement and has already started to put on the pounds. “I’ve already gained five or six kilos since the Games in Rio,” he said in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad. “I have to keep an eye on it. Once you retire as a sportsman, the extra kilos can quickly come.”

Since hanging up his wheels, he has been kept busy though. “Since Rio, I have been involved in sponsorship activities, bike fairs, galas, it doesn’t stop. I suspect it will become less busy in a few weeks.”

He also said that he wants to return to his studies with marketing a preferred option. “What I certainly will do though is study again. Sports marketing and I can already rely on my experience as a rider. It is a side of the sport that fascinates me and where I want to learn things.”

“Of course, first of all I want to spend more time with my family and my friends. After 16 years of cycling at a high level in a team, I deserve some freedom.”

Cancellara was also asked about the move of the start of the Tour of Flanders, from Bruges to Antwerp for next year. It’s a race which he won three times – in 2010, 2013 and 2014.

“Antwerp is still far from the slopes of the Flemish Ardennes,”
he replied. “I am basically a person who likes to see traditions being kept in cycling, but I also understand that there are economic interests which play their part.”

“The start in Bruges was unique, and very emotional every time. At the time I was at the Tour start in Antwerp, we received a warm welcome and also the start of the Scheldeprijs is always good, you have to give things their chances, but honestly, I prefer (the start in) Bruges.”



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