Cavendish to add his fifth win this season?
The cycling season gets into full swing this weekend with the first of the major classics on Saturday: Milan – San Remo.
The Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport organised the first Milan-San Remo in 1907 and it has remained the longest cycling classic this year totalling 298KM – that’s a long cycle ride.
Cyclists are a funny breed. I mean how do you get into pro cycling in the first place? Spending nearly a whole day in the saddle is self torture plain and simple. I hate riding up the hill to my house never mind riding over mountains.
The favourites for this years race are going to be:
Far and away the biggest favourite and he has to be my pick for this years race because I think the SKY team really has it together and they have a very strong presence at this years race.
Cavendish already has four wins under his belt this season most recently in the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico and he is looking in exceptionally good form.
The only reason he won’t win is if a breakaway succeeds or he is too far behind on the tricky Poggio descent with around 6KM to go.
With Edvald Boasson Hagen in tow team SKY look the most accomplished team present at this years race.
What a fantastic rider. Over the past couple of seasons Cancellera has excelled in the classics and this type of race suits him perfectly. He is in excellent form and It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him trying to ride away from the field with 100KM or so completed.
My dark horse for the Tour de France Nibali is in excellent form and I expect him to be a real contender. Nibali has the experience and the grand tours under his belt although his lack of a sprint finish will mean that he will have to go for it on the Poggio ascent but that is exactly how he would want it.
It’s doubtful whether the climbs are long and steep enough for him to be able to eke out enough advantage over the rest of the field but the poggio ascent will provide him with the opportunity to have a go. Nibali is also a fearless descender and if he gets away on the climb he will be very difficult to catch on the run in.
Last season Gilbert was in the form of his life and won the cyclist of the year but this year he has failed to replicate that form so far and whilst he is still going to be a strong contender I would pick Cancellara over Gilbert as the rider who could ride away from the field.