Boonen to meet Cavendish between the Two Seas
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Boonen to meet Cavendish between the Two Seas

by Ben Atkins at 3:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

Tom Boonen - Quick StepStarting on Wednesday, this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico – the Race of the Two Seas – looks set to be a battle royal between two of he sport’s fastest men: Tom Boonen of Quick Step, and Mark Cavendish of HTC-Columbia. With luck, the name of Alessandro “Ale-Jet” Petacchi can be added to the mix, but a crash in training has put his participation in doubt.

With the Quick Step team at Paris-Nice built around Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel’s overall classification hopes, Boonen has elected to head to Italy for the third year in a row.

Having previously won five stages in the “Race to the Sun” in France, the Belgian champion has yet to open his account in the Italian race. The generally warmer racing conditions suit the Belgian champion’s classics preparation better than the often sub-zero readings in France.

Cavendish too made his debut at Tirreno-Adriatico in 2008, so far netting one stage victory. The Manxman won the final stage of last year’s race which finished in San Benedetto del Tronto; he then went on to take victory in Milano-Sanremo four days later.

With its usual hilly mid-section as the course crosses the spine of Italy, there will likely be just two stages for Boonen and Cavendish to go head to head: Wednesday’s first stage between Livorno and Rosignano Solvay, and next Tuesday’s final stage between Civitanova Marche and San Benedetto.

Whatever the outcome of these two stages though, with many riders using this race to build up to la Pimavera the following Saturday, the real winner will be the one who raises his arms on the seafront at Sanremo.

Cavendish will not have the entire HTC-Columbia team to himself however, as teammate Michael Rogers will be going for the overall classification; the Australian’s confidence is up after his victory in last month’s Vuelta a Andalucia.

Quick Step team for Tirreno-Adriatico
Tom Boonen, Dries Devenyns, Stijn Devolder, Kevin Hulsmans, Francesco Reda, Matteo Tosatto, Marco Velo, Maarten Wynants

HTC-Columbia team for Tirreno-Adriatico
Michael Albasini, Lars Bak, Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Marco Pinotti, Bert Grabsch, Peter Velits, Michael Rogers


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