Called ‘Spartacus’ by his adoring fans, he was applauded as a brilliant rider, and was also admired for his unselfishness in the teams in which he competed.
Fabian began cycling seriously at the age of 13 and won two consecutive World Junior Time Trial Championships in 1998 and 1999, before turning professional at the age of 19.
He finished his remarkable career in glorious style by winning the 2016 Olympic time trial gold medal in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 35.
It was his second Olympic time trial gold medal, the first coming in Beijing in 2008, where he also won the silver medal in the road race. He says: “My memories of China are really, really huge. Cyclists only have two disciplines at the Olympics, so two medals was the greatest thing I could achieve for myself, for my country and for cycling.”
Fabian also won the time trial in the World Championship on four occasions in five years – 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010.
He had an outstanding record in the Tour de France, although he never won the race. He is the cyclist with the most career yellow jerseys (29) who has not been a Tour winner. His eight stage wins from 2004 to 2012 demonstrate his remarkable consistency in the premier event of road racing. He has won the opening stage five times.
In his career, among his many achievements, Fabian has had great success in the classics. He has won Paris – Roubaix three times, the Tour of Flanders three times and Milan – San Remo once, plus wins in the Tour de Suisse and the Tour of Oman.
A Laureus Ambassador for several years towards the end of his career, he was elected an Academy Member in 2016 when he retired from professional racing.
A big supporter of Laureus Sport for Good, he has ridden in the round-Switzerland cycle race the Tortour for teams from Laureus Global Partner IWC Schaffhausen to raise funds for Laureus.
Fabian says: “Sport has given me so much, now I want to give something back, to disadvantaged or underprivileged children or children in general. I want to do something important.”