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Petacchi, Renshaw alongside Cavendish in Milan-San Remo

By:
Cycling News
Published:
March 20, 2014, 17:58 GMT,
Updated:
March 20, 2014, 21:22 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, March 20, 2014
Race:
Milan-San Remo
Omega Pharma-QuickStep packs quite a punch for sprints courtesy of Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Cavendish

Omega Pharma-QuickStep packs quite a punch for sprints courtesy of Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Cavendish

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Omega Pharma-Quick Step debuts Keisse, Bakelants

The Omega Pharma-Quick Step team announced its final Milan-San Remo squad today, naming a team full of support for sprinter Mark Cavendish.

The British champion will have at his disposal his trusted lead-out men Alessandro Petacchi, Mark Renshaw and Matteo Trentin, plus Milan-San Remo debutantes Iljo Keisse and Jan Bakelants.

Additionally, Zdenek Stybar and Strade Bianchi winner Michal Kwiatkowski will be in the team should the anticipated bunch sprint not emerge.

Cavendish, the winner of the 2009 edition of the Milan-San Remo, is not certain that this year's race will end in a sprint, but with the removal of the difficult Pompeiana climb from the finale, chances are better.

"There are so many variables at Milan-San Remo, and that is what makes it beautiful," Cavendish said. "It's not an easy race just because it ends in a sprint. Anyone on the start line can win, and there is no other Classic or race like that. It's a long race, the easiest to finish, but the hardest to win. I am just really happy to have the opportunity to try."

The team will be directed by Davide Bramati, with the squad's sports director Rolf Aldag also in the car. Bramati pointed to the length of the race as a deciding factor. "As a team we must stay focused and try not to do any mistakes, as every moment there is an opportunity to lose the race.

"We have a strong team that can be a factor no matter how Milan-San Remo plays out. As always anything can happen, and we are ready with a team that is motivated and has already had some races together this season."

Three-time winner Oscar Freire analysed the race for Cyclingnews, and named the wind and the weather as two factors that can before more decisive to the race than just the climbs alone. There is a strong chance of rain on Sunday, and Bramati knows this can quickly change a team's tactics.

"Of course the race can also be influenced by this weather, as they are predicting rain. So, any plans can be thrown out the window quickly for all of the teams. We have to be ready to adapt."

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