Mark Cavendish backing Edvald Boasson Hagen as Milan-San Remo contender

Dimension Data will have a strong squad for Saturday's Milan-San Remo and former winner Mark Cavendish believes Edvald Boasson Hagen will be a contender

Mark Cavendish at the 2016 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Classic
(Image credit: Watson)

Mark Cavendish says that his Dimension Data team is well suited for Milan-San Remo with Edvald Boasson Hagen likely leading the charge on Saturday.

He closed Tirreno-Adriatico with a 10.05-kilometre time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto, his first race since competing in the UCI Track World Championships.

Afterwards, he showered and spoke to press outside the white and black team bus. With the hum of the turbo trainers overhead, he spoke softly and briefly about the Italian monument he won in 2009.

"Anyone who starts hopes for a good result," he said when asked about what he hoped to achieve in the race. "I'll see how it goes. With Edvald, we have a strong contender. From the options we have, we have a very strong team.

"The team won the race a few years ago [with Gerald Ciolek]. I know if we can try to win it this year, it won't be through form of luck, but because we have a strong team."

Along with Boasson Hagen, Steve Cummings is expected to race Milan-San Remo after his stage win on Saturday in Foligno. Dimension Data has yet to release riders in its team for Saturday.

>>> Mark Cavendish’s guide to Milan-San Remo

When Cavendish won in 2009, it was his debut year. He shot from the pack in the final metres to chance down Heinrich Haussler and pipped him on the line.

"Whether, I won it or not, it's still a special race for me. It's a race I always watched growing up, it's a race I enjoy riding, whether I won it or not, I still enjoy doing it," Cavendish continued.

"You can really never tell with Milan-San Remo, that's the whole beauty of it. It doesn't matter which teams and riders are there, you never know until the last kilometre what the outcome will be. Whether it's going to be a break or a bigger group for a sprint. The nature of San Remo, you are always keep guessing until the last kilometre."

Cavendish flew to central Italy from London after the track Worlds, where he tried to earn a spot on Great Britain's Rio de Janeiro Olympic team.

"It was the case of the first race back, I didn't know how my sensations would be," he said. "We were up there the other day with Edvald and then with Steve Cummings's amazing win stage win the other day. It's been quite a nice week,” he added.

"I'll go to home for three days after this and wait until the weekend in Milan. I don't know my form. I've come off the track. This is the first race back for me, but we have a strong team."

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.