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High Road in a good position

By Laura Weislo in Palo Alto

After Team High Road's Bradley Wiggins took second in the prologue of the third Tour of California on Sunday, and its young sprinters Edvald Boasson Hagen and Mark Cavendish cracked the top ten, the team's directeur sportif Rolf Aldag revealed to Cyclingnews the squad's wide open strategy for the upcoming stages.

"First we'll see how the race goes, and who will control the race. We need to ride offensively, but if we can have someone in the breakaway it will be great for us," Aldag explained. "If it comes to a sprint, Cavendish could take the leader's jersey if he wins the stage. It's a lot of if and when, but we'll see, but we clearly have a chance."

High Road's contender for the overall should be American George Hincapie, who will face off against his former team-mate and friend Levi Leipheimer for the general classification. Hincapie is on form and was looking good at team camp last week, according to Aldag, but so did the rest of the line-up. The strength of the team could give them more than one card to play. "We have a lot of riders who are good in a TT. So if somehow a break does take off and makes it to the finish, and we have someone in it, we really have a chance," Aldag revealed. "That's the good thing about us; we don't have to be focused on one rider. We'll ride actively and try to be in the breaks, and that's it."

While the rest of the track racers are in Denmark for the Copenhagen World Cup, Wiggins chose to come to California even with the track World Championships coming up next month. Aldag described Wiggins' logic for preparation for the track. "He thinks he can prepare well for his main event – for the World Championships and the Olympic Games – on the road. He has a clear idea of what he wants to do, and he knows what he needs to do to prepare," Aldag said. "You don't have to lead him, or discuss it with him. He's open to direction, but he knows what to do and he's focused. The way he prepared for the prologue today was amazing. He was ready, and that's good to see."

Wiggins put in a solid effort, but fell short of Fabian Cancellara's winning time by 4.7 seconds. But Aldag didn't think that was anything to worry about. "I think the rest of the world has to live with the fact that Cancellara will win most of the time trials if he's in good shape. So it's not a shame to lose these prologue events to him. He's a great rider and World Champion. It's quite impressive."

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