Hammond to target stage wins

Former British champion Roger Hammond was seen as a contender heading into the Tour of Britain, but...

Former British champion Roger Hammond was seen as a contender heading into the Tour of Britain, but lost out on yesterday's first stage when he was stranded back in the main bunch, finishing over 22 minutes down. Usually competing in the colours of the Discovery Channel squad, Hammond is guesting with the GB team this week. He told Cyclingnews that he has set other targets for the remainder of the race.

"I will try to pick up stage wins now. That is all I can do. I think all the other things - overall, points, etcetera are out the window, especially with such a short time trial stage. So I basically have to go for stage wins, that is all that is really left."

When asked if he had been aiming to win the race, the 31 year old said that he turned up with a wait-and-see approach. "I came in with an open mind. I wouldn't have thought we'd lose so much time, though, especially on a stage like yesterday. The problem is that I have ridden so many ProTour races this year that you just don't expect people to be pulling out of the line after ten kilometres of racing. It is a harsh reminder. I was hoping that we might have got away with it, but we didn't. It is unfortunate."

Hammond is using the race to prepare for the world championships. "I am trying to build on the form I have for Madrid. After this, I will do the Tour of Poland, then have a week before the World's to fine-tune my form."

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