Mark Cavendish will be flanked by Edvald Boasson Hagen in a strong Team Sky line-up at next weekend’s Milan-San Remo. Unsurprisingly, the squad for La Classicissima features seven riders currently competing at Tirreno-Adriatico, where Sky has already taken two sprint victories.
World champion Cavendish’s victory on stage two into Indicatore was an ominous portent for his rivals ahead of Milan-San Remo. After his impressive win at Kuure-Brussel-Kuurne two weeks ago, it was a further warning that he is the man to beat in the event of a bunch finish on the Lungomare Italo Calvino.
The following day, the sprinting duties were handed to Boasson Hagen, and the multi-talented Norwegian didn’t disappoint as he outkicked André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) in the finishing straight at Terni.
Boasson Hagen was a teammate of Cavendish’s when the Manxman triumphed at Milan-San Remo in 2009, and two other survivors of that HTC-Columbia squad also line up for Sky next week – Bernhard Eisel and Thomas Löfkvist.
Mathew Hayman, Jeremy Hunt and Ian Stannard, who have formed a key part of the Sky lead-out train at Tirreno-Adriatico, will also be on hand at Milan-San Remo, while Christian Knees will travel to Italy after he completes his duties at Paris-Nice this weekend.
Team Sky also outlined its line-ups for the remainder of the March calendar, where Cavendish, Boasson Hagen and Juan Antonio Flecha will divide leadership duties in three cobbled Belgian races. Flecha will look to be to the fore at Dwars Door Vlaanderen on March 21 and he will then be joined by Boasson Hagen the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen two days later. Mark Cavendish will assume the reins at Gent-Wevelgem.
That same week, Bradley Wiggins will head up a squad that includes Richie Porte and Michael Rogers at the Vuelta a Catalunya, while Chris Froome returns to action at the Critérium International on March 24. Froome missed Paris-Nice due to the effects of a chest infection.
Sky team for Milan-San Remo (March 17): Edvald Boasson Hagen, Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Mathew Hayman, Jeremy Hunt, Christian Knees, Thomas Löfkvist, Ian Stannard.