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Phil Gaimon and Fabian Cancellara confirm date for race

Duo set to go head to head in Switzerland to draw a line under online feud

Joe Robinson
22 May 2018

Former professional cyclist-turned YouTuber Phil Gaimon and four-time time trial World Champion Fabian Cancellara have set a date for their much anticipated bike race. The pair are set to conclude their online spat with a light-hearted yet surely competitive race later this summer.

The pair will go head to head at one of Cancellara's self-titled 'Chasing Cancellara' events on Sunday 1st July, racing up the Col du Pillon Swiss Alp. The race will take on 6.9km of uphill road averaging 5.2% in gradient.

The race between the two now-retired professionals materialised after the release of Gaimon' book Draft Animals. In the book, the American alludes to the widely spread rumour that Cancellara motor-doped throughout his career.

When subsequently contacted about the claim, Gaimon reaffirmed his comments – albeit in jest. Cancellara, of course, vehemently denied all allegations and the end result saw the Swiss rider taking to social media, challenging Gaimon to a race. 

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Gaimon stated that the proceeding week had been 'one of the worst weeks of my life' as he felt the full fallout from his comments.

However, the public started warming to the concept of the proposed race becoming a reality and now, it appears, the pair will come face to face.

Gaimon and Cancellara could not be more further apart in terms of their cycling career. 

Cancellara is a seven-time Monument winner having taken Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders three times respectively as well as Milan-San Remo. He also wore the Tour de France yellow jersey for 29 days and took two Olympic gold medals.

On the other side, Gaimon rode only briefly in the WorldTour for two seasons despite having plenty of raw climbing talent. A stage of the Vuelta a San Juan sits atop his palmares, which came to an end when the American retired at 30 years old. He has often claimed that the impact of performance-enhancing drugs in cycling compromised his career.

Whether the two will take the race seriously remains to be seen. Realistically over this effort, Gaimon should have the edge. Yet with both racing for charity - Gaimon for Chefs Cycle for No Kid Hungry and Cancellara for Laureus - the event could become a little less heated.

When Cyclist spoke to Cancellara about the prospect of a race last month, he played down the competitive angle and was coy when asked about the actual race, preferring to focus attention on the Chasing Cancellara event as a whole.

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