It was a great Milan-San Remo, some say one of the best but for me the 2009 race was a anything but great. As I pack up my kit for tomorrow's flight from home here in Germany to Milan, I can relive the final few hundred meters again and again in my mind. Each pedal stroke, my hands gripping the bars as I seek out ever last bit of energy I can must and then the feeling of loss as I come second to Mark Cavendish.
I think about that day all the time if I'm honest. When the weather's bad and my motivation low I think back to that day and I immediately get out on my bike and push myself. It's almost robotic now. I'm going to Milan-Sam Remo this weekend, not to finish second or third but to win. I'm happy with things and how my form is after Paris-Nice. I've had the best preparation that I think I could have and managed to get time in at altitude as well.
Of course I have a great team with me and Garmin-Cervelo has some great cards to play with myself, Thor and Tyler. We will have our team meeting before the race when everything on tactics will be set out and whatever happens we'll all put the team first. Having three leaders is a great position to be in and you can bet that if all three of us make it over the climbs in the leading group we won't be racing each other.
Personally I hope that the peloton go hard and that we see loads of attacks on the final climbs in order to split things up.
A lot depends on what happens with Petacchi too. If he's not riding then Lampre will go on the attack with someone like Scarponi. It really depends on how hard it is and what the other teams want to do. I hope it's hard as possible and that could make things easier for us.
As for Cav, I really don't know how he's going. I can't write the guy off but I can't see him being up there at the finish. That's just from what I've seen on television. Maybe it's a bluff but I'd say his teammate Matt Goss is more of a threat and for me he's the dark horse for San Remo. He was really strong in Paris-Nice as has really developed in the last twelve months. We have to watch out for him. The favourite? One of us at Garmin. I know how my form is and as I said, I'm not going there to get second or third this year.
By the way CN has asked me to blog throughout the Classics again this year, so stay tuned throughout the spring.