Cancellara: Hirschi is not on the level of Pogacar and Bernal yet

Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) turns out to be next door to former professional racer Fabian Cancellara. They both live in Ittigen in Switzerland. Their house is only 300 meters away. Not just a neighbor, Cancellara is Hirschi’s manager and mentor.

Hirschi is in talks following his victory at the 12th stage of the Tour de France 2020, Thursday (10/9) evening. He is the first Swiss racer to calm the stage at TdF in eight years. The last Swiss rider to do so was Fabian Cancellara at TdF 2012

As a neighbor, advisor, mentor, and manager, Cancellara says he is proud of Hirschi’s achievements. “He reminded me a little of Julian Alaphilippe (,” Cancellara told  Het Nieuwsblad , Thursday night.

“But first and foremost, he is Marc Hirschi, who now has the potential to win races such as the Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Amstel Gold Race, Il Lombardia and the World Championship,” added the former Trek-Segafredo racer.

Hirschi was only 22 years and 18 days old. The victory in the 12th stage made him the youngest Swiss racer to win the TdF stage. Previously, the record was held by Urs Freuler when he won stage 7 at the 1981 Tour de France, some 39 years ago. At that time Freuler was 22 years 239 days old.

Even though he won the stage at TdF, Cancellara reminded him that his neighbor was still not on the level of Tadej Pogacar (UEA-Team Emirates) or Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers). Hirschi had to try harder to be equal to those two superstars .

“Marc can aim for Vuelta a Espana or Giro d’Italia in the long term. And, who knows, maybe the Tour de France,” said the racer who retired at the end of 2016.

Cancellara also reminded that Hirschi’s life will change completely after winning the stage at TdF. His name will be increasingly known to the world. The view of the surrounding community towards Hirschi and his family must have changed. Like it or not Hirschi has to adapt to this brand-new condition.

“Don’t forget, he’s only 22 years old and still lives with his parents. That fantastic victory made him suddenly known around the world. It will affect someone. I’ve been through it all and I’m trying to help him,” added the winner of four ITT world titles this.

Hirschi had a problem in his hip in early 2020. It was the Covid-19 pandemic that ‘helped him’. When the competition stagnates, Hirschi has time to get back into good shape. Apart from that, continued Cancellara, Hirschi pays close attention to every detail: position, aerodynamics, nutrition and training.

“Marc also really wants to win. He told me that he wants to race WorldTour this season. And where is the best place for other than on the Tour de France stage?” closed the two gold medalists at the Olympics.

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