No regrets at missing out on 'dream' Tour win - Cancellara

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As a boy Fabian Cancellara dreamt of winning the Tour de France but as his career comes to an end he has no regrets at missing out on a title at the most iconic of the three Grand Tours.

The Swiss rider made his pro-cycling debut in 2001 and competed in the Tour for the first time three years later, winning the prologue in Liege to take the leader's yellow jersey.

He went on to wear the maillot jaune on another 28 occasions and won seven stages over the years, but he has never contested for the general classification - his best finish being a lowly 65th.

Despite never fulfilling his boyhood ambition, Cancellara claimed four time trial world titles, two Olympic gold medals and seven Classics victories in his career and he is more than satisfied with his achievements.

"I have a special story with the Tour because when I was young I dreamt about one day winning the Tour," he told Omnisport. 

"But I found out later during the years that it's good to dream but in sport I had goals and the Tour was never really a goal - it was a dream.

"The yellow jersey was the jersey to open to the world. But on the other hand it put pressure on your shoulders, but in the end I learned to handle that.

"Right now I'm more than happy with the way things became and although I never won the Tour I won so many other things."

Next year's Tour will be only the third edition of the race not to feature Cancellara since his debut in 2004 and the man they call 'Spartacus' is unlikely to be watching from afar.

"I haven't really looked into it because I am not racing anymore," he added. "It is not on my level to spend energy on what the parcours will be. 

"I heard it's quite hard, as hard as usual, but the Tour every year is hard."