Star cyclist Fabian Cancellara creates trophy room ... in his sauna

Two-time Olympic time trial cycling champion Fabian Cancellara chats to Amanda Davies in an Instagram Live and shows her his sauna, which was converted into a part-trophy room.

Posted: May 13, 2020 10:11 AM
Updated: May 13, 2020 10:11 AM

Trophy-winning sports stars often decide to have cabinets erected in their living rooms to have their spoils on display for all to see.

However, to catch a glimpse of Fabian Cancellara's three Paris-Roubaix trophies, you might have to remove your clothing and don a towel instead.

The Swiss cyclist has chosen to house his three cobblestone trophies -- given to the winner of the prestigious French race -- in his sauna at home, as CNN Sport's Amanda Davies found out during their Instagram Live chat.

Cancellara is one of only a few riders to have won the race -- famous for its rough terrain and cobblestone -- at least three times, and the decision to display the unique trophies in his sauna could come back to the hard work he put into his victories.

"Normally, in the sauna, I'm not with clothing but at the moment, it is off," he told Davies. "It's a rough race, but it's a lovely race. I love to watch it now on TV because it's a hard one.

"It's different from all the others because it's flat and these cobbles are not easy, they are really rough and that's maybe why they are in the sauna, because there's a lot of sweat in those races."

READ: Mandy Marquardt: Diabetic Olympic hopeful adapts to training in quarantine

'Sport is a magnet'

As the coronavirus pandemic has spread, sport has suffered. Besides some outliers, most events have been canceled or postponed.

The Paris-Roubaix, originally set for April 12, has been rescheduled to October 25.

As countries begin to recover, sport has started up again, without fans in attendance.

The Tour de France is one of the sports events to be affected, moving from June 27-July 19 to August 29-September 20.

The iconic French road race is typically held each year, with millions of fans lining the streets to cheer on competitors.

The retired Cancellara, who won seven individual stages of the Tour de France, believes the race can certainly be held without fans, as French regulations may dictate, as some athletes block out fans when they are concentrating fully.

"When a sports athlete is in his tunnel of concentration, sometimes he doesn't even see or hear fans because he is so in the mode of concentration that energy is only for that," the two-time Olympic gold medalist said.

"And if you go to the podium and there are no fans, of course it looks strange but everyone knows the situation."

Professional football in Korea started its 2020 season last weekend and the German Bundesliga is scheduled to restart this weekend.

And although it will be good to get live sport on TV for fans, Cancellara acknowledges that the levels of performance athletes will be able to reach might not be as high without fans.

"When you play in an empty stadium, you have to be super mentally ready because when you play in front of fans, you can run more, you can ride longer, you can go deeper, when you're sacrificing, you can go longer," he said.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videos

"Sport is a magnet, sport is emotion, sport is giving something. Of course certain sports are nice to watch at home but first of all, I want to see the bike riders, the staff, everyone comes to one place and then the caravan of the tour with not spectators are already moving and this is a good sign towards the world. Sport is needed for the people at home."

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