Cavendish checks out Milano-Sanremo course
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cavendish checks out Milano-Sanremo course

by Bjorn Haake at 1:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Milan-Sanremo

Mark Cavendish offered a strong indication that he wants to repeat his Milano-Sanremo win from last year, by checking out the final of the Italian Classic on Sunday. The defending champion should be counted as one of the favorites, but the Briton had a bad start to the season, with a heavy tooth infection delaying his entry to racing.

At this point in the season Cavendish has already posted a couple of good results - a fourth place in stage two of the Vuelta a Andalucía and a second place in the Clasica de Almeria - but he also had his fair share of pullouts. In the Montepaschi Strade Bianche on Saturday, he didn't finish, even though he still clocked 180km that day.

Sports director Valerio Piva wasn't worried about the latest setback. "On one of the steep climbs he had a problem, he touched another rider's wheel and had to put his foot down," said Piva to Cycling Weekly. "Once he started again, it was not possible to ride with the best."

In 2009, Cavendish finished 1'41 back in 24th place, with his then-teammate Thomas Lövkvist taking the honors. Things seemed to be going better a year ago and when people told Cavendish he wouldn't be able to hang over the final climbs, he was even more motivated.

Today he checked out the final parts of La Classicissima together with his HTC-Columbia teammates, including Michael Rogers (who finished third on Saturday) and Bernhard Eisel. With a confident "I am looking forward to it," Cavendish showed that he is still eager to deliver another extraordinary performance in Milano-Sanremo.

In order to get ready, he will race Tirreno-Adriatico, from March 10 to 16, and then hope to pull out another stunning sprint in Sanremo.


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