Despite finishing in second place in the first stage of the Tour De France, Fabian Cancellara is still in the prime position to win this year. Despite continued success, Cancellara still hasn't won the Super Bowl of riding—the Tour De France—in a non-time trial manner.
By maintaining his standing with the yellow jersey and the prime spot, he is at an advantage to win the Tour de France. The Swiss cyclist has been very strong in time trial competitions throughout his career and can turn that into a win on the grand stage.
His experience in World Time Trial Championships has been excellent and he has won four of those events. Cancellara was second in the Olympics in 2008 in the road race and won gold in the time trials there as well. He can turn an experience there into one of the biggest victories in his career.
His win in the Strade Bianche and the Tour de France prologue has been just part of his already good year in cycling. After his win in the prologue, he was quoted by the Associated Press (h/t Gulf news.com):
“What a great opening—again!” Cancellara said. “I did the most I could. It’s not always easy. I always do the maximum ... It’s a great feeling and this certainly takes some of the pressure off.”
And always doing the maximum is what will earn him one of the top honors in cycling this year. He has to finally get the monkey off his back named the Tour De France to prove he is the top cyclist in the world.
He should be able to do that this year as long as he is able to continue a pace and maintain the lead. His primary competitor right now is Peter Sagan—who won the first stage of the race. But Sagan hasn't won one of the Grand Tours yet in his young career and shouldn't be the competition to Cancellara in the overall Tour that people would expect from a stage one winner.
Other top competitors to Cancellara are Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans. They are considered the top favorites (h/t SB Nation), but finished quite a bit behind both Cancellara and Sagan in the first stage.
If he can continue to wear the yellow jersey, the Swiss cyclist should be able to finally conquer his beast in France and win the Tour De France for the first time in his career and become a legend in cycling.