Team Columbia-Highroad's sport director Rolf Aldag has played down talk that his top sprinter Mark Cavendish will win today's Gent-Wevelgem. The former cyclist believes Cavendish has an edge on his rivals, but another Spring Classic win today will be a hard-fought victory.
"Psychologically, Cavendish has the edge on his rivals, and they won't all be waiting for a bunch sprint," said Aldag. "They'll be testing us from the moment the race starts and they won't make it easy for him. If the weather is bad or if there are splits in the peloton at the wrong moment, maybe we'll see a different outcome."
Aldag is prepared for whatever Gent-Wevelgem throws up later today, with his squad containing two previous winners in addition to hopeful Cavendish. Both George Hincapie and Marcus Burghardt have claimed the Belgian race victory previously and could get another shot today, depending on how the event unfolds.
"They'll both be ready to go in the moves should they need to, and we'll keep our options open," he said. "We'll do everything we can to get Mark to the finishing line for a sprint.
"We know he's in great condition, he's really motivated and he's also shown this year that his climbing had improved enormously without him losing any speed at all in the sprints," he added. "I know he's got a score to settle with Gent-Wevelgem, too, because it didn't work out so well for him last year in the finish and he was disappointed. This time around, he's very keen to set the record straight."
Click here to read Cyclingnews' interview with Mark Cavendish.