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"I'm very happy to be riding in Milano-Sanremo, on the same route where I watched my heroes race and win when I was a kid "In fact, the edition I won in 2009 featured the climb on Le Manie," Cavendish says

Photo: OPQS / Tim De Waele

GENT-WEVELGEM

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MARK CAVENDISH

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MILANO - SANREMO

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QUICK-STEP - ALPHA VINYL

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SCHELDEPRIJS VLAANDEREN

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04.03.2014 @ 20:26 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After months of uncertainty, Mark Cavendish has confirmed his classics schedule. With the Pompeiana being removed from the Milan-Sanremo course and Gent-Wevelgem also have become easier, the Manxman will  target success in those two races before going for a fourth win in the Scheldeprijs.

 

When it was announced that the Milan-Sanremo course would include the Pompeiana climb in the finale, Mark Cavendish was quick to stress that he would not do the Italian classic this year and that he would probably never return to the event if the course was not changed back to one for the sprinters. Last week his wishes were fulfilled when landslides and safety concerns forced organizers RCS Sport to remove the ascent from the parcours.

 

As the decision had already been taken to remove the Le Manie climb as well - a climb that was introduced in 2008 - the course is now a very classical one and the easiest since the 2007 edition. With this year's edition possible being the sprinters' final chance to go for glory, André Greipel was quick to change his schedule to include La Primavera and Mark Cavendish followed suit yesterday.

 

Today Cavendish revealed his entire spring schedule and he will be eager to have one final shot at glory in Sanremo after winninf the 2009 edition. In addition to the Italian classic, he will also give Gent-Wevelgem another shot after having earlier played with the idea of forgoing the Belgian classic. After several years of making the course harder, the organizers have bucked the trend and returned to a more traditional format which appeals to the fast Brit.

 

Two days after Gent-Wevelgem, Cavendish will line up at the sprinter-friendly Driedaagse van de Panne where he is a multiple stage winner. He will forgo the Tour of Flanders to end his spring classics campaign in "The World Championships of the sprinters", the Scheldeprijs, of which he is a three-time winner.

 

"I'm very happy to be riding in Milano-Sanremo, on the same route where I watched my heroes race and win when I was a kid," said Cavendish. "In fact, the edition I won in 2009 featured the climb on Le Manie. It will be fun and stimulating to ride on this route, which is making this race the only Classics monument for the sprinters.

 

"I'm also very happy to race in Belgium. I've never won Gent-Wevelgem. The route for this race has gone back to how it used to be, too. Driedaagse van De Panne and Scheldeprijs will complete my 'Flemish' schedule, during which I can also count on a squad that's as strong on this type of route as Omega Pharma – Quick-Step."

 

"Uncertainty about the route of the Sanremo left Mark's program open until just a few days ago," explains Sport and Development Manager Rolf Aldag. "Therefore, after the Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico races, Mark will be in the starting lineup for the Milano-Sanremo. Without the Pompeiana, the route is back to being suitable to the skills of athletes like Mark.

 

"After Sanremo Mark will participate in Gent-Wevelgem. The Flemish classic also underwent a slight variation to the route that could favor the arrival in a final sprint. Mark's classics campaign will then pass through Driedaagse van De Panne and will finish with Scheldeprijs, a race which Mark has already won three times."

 

Cavendish will next do the Strade Bianche on Saturday before lining up in Tirreno-Adriatico where he will target stage wins.

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