Milan-Sanremo: HTC-Columbia trusts in Cavendish
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Milan-Sanremo: HTC-Columbia trusts in Cavendish

by VeloNation Press at 2:33 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Milan-Sanremo
 

The American HTC-Columbia team is prepared to do what it takes to deliver their sprinter Mark Cavendish to the line tomorrow and defend his 2009 title. While the Manxman hasn't had a win yet this year, he's come close, with a second place finish in the Clasica de Almeria behind Dutchman Theo Bos. His team trusts the world's fastest sprinter last year will do the right thing on the way into Sanremo.

"He's the winner of the 2009 race and he's our best option for winning the race in 2010," explained HTC-Columbia team manager Rolf Aldag.

"Although I'm sure all seven team-mates are also capable of getting good results in their own right, they will do everything they can to support him."

Cavendish was poised to go for the final stage in Tirreno-Adriatico, when disaster struck and an apparent equipment failure sent him to the pavement. "It was a pity it didn't happen," Aldag said of the missed opportunity, "but in a way it means less pressure on him. Nobody will be looking at us to chase now if there's a breakaway of 20 riders."

HTC-Columbia has a lot of faith in their team leader, so much so they left their other sprinter André Greipel at home. The German has had five wins so far this season, and could have given the team more options should the race come down to a sprint finish.

"We'll keep on assessing the situation as the race unfolds," explained Aldag. "Mark's very clever and very honest and he'll let us know exactly what's going on. He won't just kill his team-mates for no reason.

"We always put a lot of emphasis on communication between the riders in HTC-Columbia and it was a big part of how we won the race last year. It'll be a big part of our game plan again this year, too."

In 2009, it was Amercian George Hincapie who delivered Cavendish to the line. His experience saw him drift back on the descent of the Poggio, drop Cavendish off in perfect position, and motor to the front to keep the pace high ensuring Cavendish would be within striking distance.

"Milan-San Remo is a very difficult race to predict, there are so many different interests at play and it's by no means guaranteed there will be a bunch sprint. But it could happen, and the team will be working for Mark and supporting him 100 percent. There is no plan 'B'."

HTC-Columbia for 2010 Milan-Sanremo:
Michael Albasini (Swi); Lars Bak (Den); Mark Cavendish (GB); Bernhard Eisel (Aut); Matt Goss (Aus); Maxime Monfort (Bel); Michael Rogers (Aus); Peter Velits (Svk).

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