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2016 Will Be Cancellara's Final Season

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Swiss star ready to walk away

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Fabian Cancellara told a Swiss media outlet that the 2016 cycling season will be his final one as a pro, and will not include the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in his program. SRF talked to the great classics champion at an awards ceremony in his home country where he confirmed the, well, not obvious but not unexpected news. Cancellara has said on occasion that he doesn't plan to ride forever, and his results over the last year-plus -- heavily impacted by injuries -- have hinted that maybe his time is nearly up.

Still, it's impossible to discount one more season of full-force Fabian. The Swiss Bear is already one of the record holders for most Ronde van Vlaanderen victories (3) and is one behind Tom Boonen (4) for victories in Paris-Roubaix. He does not seem poised to win any Olympic medals in the time trial or road race events, based on recent year results, and his disavowal of Rio makes sense, but if he's got a hot hand, well, I imagine things could change. More likely Cancellara will focus on the Tour de France, where he is always a threat to spend some time in yellow, and does great work for his team in the process. Oh, and as for his team, if his salary is really half their budget, then you can expect Luca Guercilena to maybe be a bit more active in the 2016 transfer market.

Anyway, the repercussions are big, if not a shock. Cancellara has been one of history's most entertaining riders for much of the last decade, and 2016 will be about celebrating his accomplishments one last time during his active career.