Mark Cavendish flies to Mallorca today for Columbia?s first training camp of 2009, in good shape and keen to start his third season.
?I?ve ridden 4,500 kilometres since the team last got together, on November 20th,? Cavendish told Cycling Weekly. ?I?ve been training hard and I?m really pleased with my condition.?
The Manxman?s off-season has, he says, gone more than well. With no commitments to the track like in the winter of 2007-8, Cavendish has concentrated exclusively on recuperation and training for his third season as a pro.
?It?s all worked out fine, I?m feeling super-good,? Cavendish added. ?I?ve had the winter I wanted and now I?m really excited about getting going again.?
After the ten-day training camp in Mallorca, Cavendish still plans to make his debut for the season in the Tour of Qatar in early February.
Likely rivals in the sprints there include Belgian Classics star Tom Boonen. For Cavendish, this will be the first time he?s taken part in the seven-day stage race, running from February 1st-6th.
?There have been no big changes to the race program I?ve had scheduled for 2009 since last autumn,? Cavendish points out.
?We?ve just added in a couple of events, the Eroica one-day in Italy and the Scheldeprijs in April, but the rest is still the same.?
After Qatar, Cavendish will then head to the Tour of California. His first race in Europe will be Tirreno-Adriatico in mid-March, followed by Milan-San Remo.