Zabel and Cipollini still believe in Cavendish's Milano-Sanremo chances
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Zabel and Cipollini still believe in Cavendish's Milano-Sanremo chances

by Bjorn Haake at 12:47 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Milan-Sanremo

Both Erik Zabel and Mario Cipollini are not too worried about Mark Cavendish's chances for a repeat win in Milano-Sanremo. Cavendish has yet to get into gear this year, partially because a lengthy dental treatment has delayed his season start. With the interruption in his scheduled build up for the first big Classic of the season this Saturday, most have serious questions about the Manxman's current form.

Cavendish has been dropped in every stage in Tirreno-Adriatico so far. "We thought that he would be in better shape, from what we could see in the Strade Bianche race," Zabel told "I am surprised that he can't follow the peloton, but that's bike racing. We don't take it so hard, because we think Mark still has a chance to win Milano-Sanremo." The German is a four-time winner of the Italian classic, and he now coaches Cavendish.

Zabel knows that Cavendish is a savvy rider, and that it is not always the strongest who wins a race like Milan-Sanremo. But the season will continue regardless. "If he can't do it, it is no big deal. Maybe due to this low in the season, he'll be in better shape in the Tour [de France] and the Worlds."

Cipollini used his column in La Gazzetta dello Sport to give his opinion about the world's fastest sprinter. "At this very moment, he is showing signs of weakness, due to his lack of training. He needs Tirreno, to get into the rhythm, but he is also very young and can get into great form in no time," Cipollini wrote. "Somebody with this much talent you can never write off."


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