Mark Cavendish aims to take his team Etixx-Quick Step to a win in his first race of the year, Argentina’s Tour de San Luis, starting on Monday.
“The race won’t be easy,” Cavendish said. “I don’t know how I feel compared to last year, we’ll see. I did some good training in the last week. I like the parcours and there are a few chances for guys like me. I hope we can get a victory.”
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Cavendish will race in San Luis through to January 25 with team-mate and World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski.
He sprinted to victory in stage one in 2013. This year, the race offers three stages that could end in a sprint finish for the 29-year-old Manxman.
“It’s more relaxed than a UCI WorldTour race,” Cavendish continued. “I think the organiser did a good job to give an alternative to a great WorldTour race as Australia. The Santos Tour Down Under is part of the WorldTour, and you have to be in top form immediately. It’s a bit long to keep that kind of condition until July. But of course we are here also to do well, and we are here with a strong team.”
“At this race we have guys who can do well, for example a rider like Mark Cavendish,” Etixx sports director, Davide Bramati said.
“We know we have good riders at the start hoping to do well. You never know. For sure we will try our best to win at least one stage and start off 2015 in the best way possible.”
Cavendish is building for Milan-San Remo on March 22 and for the Tour de France. In 2014, he crashed on the first stage of the Tour and went home without a stage win for the first time since 2007.
Poland’s 24-year-old Kwiatkowski will begin his season in the rainbow stripes and build towards the Ardennes Classics in late April.
“He is the UCI World Champion, so of course he will do his best to represent our team and the jersey on his back,” continued Bramati.
“But he is also young, still learning, and his condition is not yet at its peak. He is a rider that can do well in any kind of race, and we will see how the situation is for him, even in the 17.4-kilometre time trial in stage five.”