In a surprise twist to one of the big cycling stories of the past week or so, Fabian Cancellara has thrown down the gauntlet - or perhaps, mitt - to Phil Gaimon by inviting American ex-pro to try and beat him in a bike race.
In a message posted on Twitter this afternoon the Swiss rider, four time world time trial champion and three times victorious at both the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix, invited Gaimon to join him on one of his Chasing Cancellara events next year.
The sportive rides see participants try to complete the course ahead of Cancellara - 10 managed to do so at the most recent event at Lugano in Switzerland's Italian-speaking Canton Ticino.
Hi @philgaimon, I actually don’t know you, but I kindly invite you to beat me at one of my 8 #ChasingCancellara races, by next year 2018. You choose the @chasecancellara -date out of 5 countries. I am very curious to see how much watt you can push!Start training!#nomotorneeded pic.twitter.com/cxNzKaCG4Q
— Fabian cancellara (@f_cancellara) November 17, 2017
Cancellara – who like Gaimon, retired in 2016 – issued the invitation this afternoon following a week in which lawyers acting for him had demanded that the American’s new book, Draft Animals, be withdrawn due to a passage regarding motor doping.
Gaimon, for his part, has said that his comments, widely reported in the specialist cycling media and beyond, were taken out of context.
The venues for next year’s Chasing Cancellara series haven’t been released yet, with registration opening on 12 December.
A shrewd choice of location could serve Gaimon well, however – he is, after all, the reigning US national hill climb champion, and in retirement has become something of a serial bagger of Strava KOMs.
Should he accept the challenge, he may have to lay off the cookies for a while, though.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.