UCI WorldTour 2014: five predictions for the new season

Which stars will shine on professional cycling's biggest stages next season?

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing)

Spartacus reaffirmed his status as King of the Classics this year, winning E3-Harelbeke, the Ronde and Paris-Roubaix. His victory in the latter – the third of his career – was particularly memorable as he showed extraordinary mental fortitude to out-think, and then out-sprint, Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco) in the Roubaix Velodrome. The Swiss hardman’s efforts over the cobbles also saw him record the second fastest average speed in the race’s 111 editions.

Fabian Cancellara could add a fourth Paris-Roubaix cobblestone to his collection next year (pic: Sirotti)

It is therefore hard to look beyond the Trek Factory Racing man supplying his team’s sole sponsor with a major victory when the Hell of the North returns in April. A Cancellara victory would be the fourth of his career – which would take him level with Belgian duo Tom Boonen and Roger de Vlaeminck, and would reiterate his position as one of the finest Classics riders of this generation. Cancellara proved this year that the cobbles are no match for him when in form, and with sprinting ability like he showed to defeat Vanmarcke, and to place within a hair’s breadth of Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhebeka) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) at Milan-San Remo, he is likely to start as favourite to win again next year.

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