HAMMOND AND CAVENDISH TO START AT BESSEGES
T-Mobile riders Roger Hammond and Mark Cavendish will both start their season at the Etoile de Bességes in France on February 7. The five day stage race will be followed by the Ruta del Sol one week later as both will be looking to build their form as they prepare for a busy classics season.
Cavendish will be moving in to an apartment next to Hammond’s house in Teruuren near Brussels before the classics start now that Hammond has been given the role of ‘Mentor’ to his compatriot by the German team.
“He’s been great with me so far, absolutely brilliant,” Cavendish said. “I know I can learn so much from him. He’s done it the hard way.”
Before Cavendish moves to Belgium he will be riding the routes of many other races. After Paris-Nice he’ll fly to France to meet up with team mate Gerald Ciolek and Sporting Director Alan Peiper to ride the route of Milan San-Remo, although he doesn’t yet know whether he’ll start the race.
Cavendish will be back in Belgium in time for Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on March fourth, going on to ride the Three Days of West Flanders, G.P. Waregem, the Three Days of De Panne and Ghent Wevelgem.
His adjusted program will see him miss the world track champs at the end of March, “it’s not feasible really,” he said, “it takes you a month to get your road form back after tapering for the track. It would have been nice, but what’s going to benefit me is a year on the road before the Olympics next year.”
Hammond’s program is similar but will also include the bigger races such as the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix.