When EDGAR met Fabian Cancellara

The recently retired cyclist told us about his travel plans now that his wheels have stopped spinning.

April 18, 2017

Before he hung up his helmet, Fabian Cancellara would spend about eight months of the year on the road notching up wins for eight stages of the Tour de France and picking up two Olympic golds,

Where are you travelling next?
The Maldives. I can put the phone down, and have a good time with my friends and family. Perfect. 

Do you like active holidays?
Yeah, I’ve skiied my whole life. I like downhill, but when I was cycling I used to go cross-country skiing because it helped me stay conditioned – it’s hard work! But now, for me skiing is all about pleasure. 

Do you know a ski resort that’s a hidden gem?
I’ve been to Verbier, Gstaad and St Moritz, all very famous, but I’ve never skied there. I think Grindelwald in Switzerland is great. You go up by train 3,800 metres – it’s a quiet place and really cool for skiing. 

Are you a fan of the beach?
I can lie on the beach and do nothing, but I have to move once in a while. Now I’m retired I suppose I must get used to doing nothing [laughs]. 

What cities do you rate?
I’ve been to so many airports, but never seen the city. Now I have more time I want to explore London, Berlin, Lisbon and Rome.

Do you like a cultural holiday?
I’m not a museum guy. I have friends in Rome who are locals so I want to go with them and see the local things, not the tourist stuff. I like easy time, you know? Tapas, coffee, shopping, just living life. 

Do you like Michelin-starred restaurants or backstreet places?
I like everything. I can eat a hot dog or kebab at 4am or have dinner with celebrities in tuxedos.

What country’s food is your favourite?
I eat a lot and I like good quality food so I’d say Italy. The pasta – wow – always good. When we raced in Italy the pasta was terrible [in the team cafeteria] but then we had Italian chefs cooking for us and the food got better. 

What about pizza?
When we raced, pizza was not recommended the day before a race but now I eat it all the time. Pizza is what I like to eat when I come home after travelling.

How did you pass the time when you were travelling on the team bus between races?
When I raced, cyclists were never into video games – they are for soccer play- ers. Instead, we talked and listened to music. On planes now I watch films, sleep and check my emails. 

Have you read any good books on your travels?
I’m not a super fan of books but a friend recently gave me The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris, about this guy who only works four hours a week but gets everything done. I enjoyed that. 

What are your memories of visiting Dubai?
I first came to the UAE in 2001 to ride a race and I remember seeing the Hard Rock Café [near Media City], which doesn’t exist anymore; there was absolutely nothing around it. But of course the city has changed so much, and today cycling is huge here and people have a passion for it, which is great to see. 

Fabian Cancellara is an ambassador for IWC; iwc.com