Tour of California: The sprinters talk bunch sprint possibilities
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tour of California: The sprinters talk bunch sprint possibilities

by Jered Gruber at 5:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California
Can anyone rival the Manx Missile...

There aren't very many chances for the sprinters in the 2010 AMGEN Tour of California, but Wednesday's Stage 4 finish in Modesto has bunch sprint printed all over it.

Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank)
"I'm feeling pretty good. I had a little crash in the second day. It's getting better, it's alright, it's not a problem. I just hope I get over the climbs alright today, and then I'll try again for the sprint. Today is my main goal. We'll see how the next days go. There all pretty hard, I don't know how it will go tomorrow. For sure the days after are pretty hard. I'll be more of a team player then."

When asked about the Stage 1 sprint, Haedo shrugged: "I was coming pretty good. I don't know if I would have gotten him. Would is a word that I don't like to use. I would have done many things, but I didn't do them. I did what I did, and I was proud of that."

Tom Boonen  (Quick Step)
Tom Boonen was all smiles at the start of the stage, belying the pain he's still enduring following his horrific crash in Stage 1: "I'm feeling a little bit worse, acually. It's really hurting. My injuries aren't really healing with the bad weather. Ah, we'll see I guess. My plans are to survive and take it day by day. I was expecting yesterday to be a lot better. It was really bad though. We had rain, and it looks like my legs is getting infected. It doesn't look that good."

Mark Renshaw (HTC-Columbia)
When asked about the chances for Cavendish in a bunch sprint, Renshaw smiled wryly: "Hopefully! If we can get over the first climb together and hopefully if the race pans out the way we want it to, it will be a bunch sprint when we come into Modesto."

How was the stage yesterday along the Pacific Coast and then Bonny Doon? "Yesterday was good. We came in with a pretty good group of riders. We took it easy as soon as we got to the last climb and saved some energy for today."

As for the weather, he looked up at the sunny skies in San Jose and said, "It's getting better, thank god!"

Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia)
When you think sprint teams, HTC-Columbia comes up first and foremost, but not too far behind them here in California is the Fly V Australia team. Young Jonathan Cantwell continues to go faster and faster and is a legitimate chance on the line today in Modesto. Cantwell confirmed his potential with a 5th place in the Stage 1 bunch gallop. Cantwell was more worried about the opening part of the day's stage first though: "Hopefully, it's controlled over the first climb, because it's quite steep and hard. There are some climbs, but they're really early on in the race. Even if you aren't feeling very good, there's plenty of time to get back on. Our team is really committed to bringing it down to a bunch sprint for me. We're pretty confident in a bunch sprint sprint today and hopefully we can capitalize."

The last 2k, no, last 10k, you know everyone is trying to get organized rely on your teammates and stay with your team. My team is great at that. Today's finish really suits me: there are a few turns, the finish is on a circuit, it will be a lot like a criterium, and I'm a criterium specialist. If it all goes well, I'll keep my confidence going, hopefully we can do something good.

Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies)
Perennial top ten finisher in any sprint worth sprinting, Alex Candelario is looking for his own breakout success. His Kelly Benefit Strategies team was prominent at the front of the race in the latter moments of Stage 1. "We're kind of hoping it's a high possibility. If you look at the rest of the stages, there aren't very many opportunities for a bunch sprint. There are a lot of other teams that will want that, so we're hoping that it comes down to that."

Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank)
Matti Breschel is still just getting back into the swing of things following a break from racing and some knee problems. When asked about how the Tour of California is going for him so far, he replied: "It's alright. I have to start up again in the peloton. Just trying to take care of myself and build up for the Tour."

Yesterday, teammate Andre Steensen suffered a nasty spill in the latter part of the stage. Matti gave us an update on his condition: "Andre is alright. He needs to take a break now. He didn't break anything, just dislocated his shoulder. He will be out for two weeks though.

What about Andy? He didn't look so good yesterday... "Andy is doing alright. He's getting there."

Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank)
It wouldn't be a good set of interviews without some commentary from Jens Voigt. "It's a beautiful, sunny day. Not too much wind, not too hot, just a perfect day. I'm really looking forward to it. The first you do when you wake up is open the curtains and check the weather. When you see a little bit of sunshine, your heart just opens up and goes, 'Oh my God! I love my job.' If it's raining and grey sky you think, 'Ooooh, I don't know if they pay me enough to go out there.' So the weather is the first thing you check in the morning, and your whole day starts or falls with that."

"The people are very enthusiastic about the Tour of California. I really like it. That's why I keep coming back. I try to do almost every race I can find in the US. I did Tour of Missouri, I did Tour of Georgia before, now I'm at my 5th Tour of California. So every time there is a race in America I raise my arms and say "I want to go. I want to go!"

VeloNation correspondent, Ashley Norris, also contributed to this piece.


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