HTC-COLUMBIA TARGETS STAGE VICTORIES IN TOUR DE SUISSE
June 09, 2010
HTC-Columbia's eight riders at the Tour de Suisse, which starts this Saturday in Lugano, Switzerland, will focus on stage victories in the nine-day race. "We won't be starting Suisse with any GC ambitions," says HTC-Columbia team manager Rolf Aldag. "But if we get in a situation where a spell in the lead comes just because of good riding, we'll go with that. The Dauphine and Tour de Suisse are also both chances where riders can prove that they have the form for the Tour de France ahead of our final team selection. We've got so many guys in our team who would be good at the Tour so we're giving them every chance to show their form."
"We'll also use Tour de Suisse also to concentrate on perfecting our teamwork. All of the guys in the race are on our long list for the Tour de France so it's a good opportunity to practice how they operate as a squad."
Last year HTC-Columbia won six stages of the Tour de Suisse with five different riders, and Aldag says a repeat of that is unlikely. "We've taken a different approach with some of our key guys, like Mick Rogers, who was initially targeting the Tour of California, and he took a great win there. Now it's more important he gets his form together for the Tour de France. Similarly, Tony [Martin] went full gas last year in Suisse and took second overall and a stage. This time round we'd probably just focus with him on one or two stages of Suisse. But if he stays with the best of them, we can live with that, too."
HTC-Columbia's Mark Cavendish is also taking part, and according to Aldag the British sprint star's form is improving fast. "Mark is getting better and better, and I saw that for myself when I went training with him and the rest of the team in the Alps recently. I'm confident he'll do well in Suisse, and I'm confident he'll do well in the Tour."
HTC-Columbia for Tour de Suisse: Michael Albasini (Swi); Mark Cavendish (GB); Bernhard Eisel (Aut); Tony Martin (Ger); Maxime Monfort (Bel); Mark Renshaw (Aus); Michael Rogers (Aus); Hayden Roulston (NZ)