HTC-Columbia's Cavendish set for Tour of Andalusia start
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Friday, February 19, 2010

HTC-Columbia's Cavendish set for Tour of Andalusia start

by VeloNation Press at 2:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

The five-day Tour of Andalusia will see HTC-Columbia's sprint king Mark Cavendish pin on a racing number for the first time in 2010. The Manxman was expected to ride in the Tours of Qatar and Oman, but emergency surgery on a tooth forced him to delay his season debut.

The race, which runs from February 21st to February 25th, will also see the American team vying for the General Classification with Michael Rogers and Maxime Monfort.

"He's ready to go and keen to race," HTC-Columbia's sports director Brian Holm said of Cavendish. "In Andalusia we'll be supporting Mark 100 percent for whatever sprints come up, and then we've got Mick [Michael Rogers] and Maxime [Monfort] for the [stage four] time-trial and the overall. Together with the mountain-top finish on the first day, that time-trial will probably decide the race. However it's a very tough Tour of Andalusia this year, with a lot of climbing for so early in the season, and a break could go at any time."

Cavendish's first race will also show what affect, if any, missing his main leadout man Mark Renshaw will have on his results. The Australian was diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus and isn't expected to begin racing until March.  The sprint contingent on the ProTour scene have yet to find a weakness in the 24 year old on the run-in to the line.

Holm thinks the team's fight for overall will be solid, with former World Time Trial Champion Rogers having built-up strong form to contest the early season races. "He's been training hard and is feeling confident, and I think Maxime's on top of his game right now, too. Our only concern was with Kosta [Konstantsin Siutsou] because he's had a knee injury, but he's got over that and is ready to go. All in all, we've got a good line-up here."

HTC-Columbia for the Tour of Andalusia:
Michael Albasini (Swi); Mark Cavendish (GB); Tony Martin (Ger); Maxime Monfort (Bel); Michael Rogers (Aus); Hayden Roulston (NZ); Konstantsin Siutsou (Byl).


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