It was a very good weekend for HTC-Columbia. Tony Martin won the final TT at the Tour of Switzerland, scalping Cancellara in front of his public after a strong week-long performance. Note Rabobank demonstrated their unique capacity to throw away stage race wins.
Simultaneously Adam Hansen won the Dutch Ster Elektrotoer, a sign that the Aussie powerhouse is back to his best. An unsung rider, Hansen’s a modern-day Sean Yates with prodigious capacities. He was allowed a ticket to race and used it to the full.
What will the team do in July?
In 2009 they spent a lot of time working for Cavendish, Tony Martin was being “used” to pull for Cavendish, his abilities were channelled into chasing down breaks rather than creating them.With Cavendish appearing weaker and Martin stronger, will the balance of the team change? In brief, it has to. I suspect they will both get their chances, Martin will be allowed a tilt at a high GC placing along with Michael Rogers but under the proviso that if things go wrong, they’ll be on duty for Cavendish. They won’t be allowed to save their energy to salvage a top-20 place.
Still, with Cavendish collecting more DNFs that wins this year, could we see him reduced to collecting water bottles for Rogers and Martin? Does he even know how to do this?
I’m joking but suspect we’ll have to wait a few days into the race to see how motivated Cavendish is relative to his team mates.
EDIT – thanks to Damien Breen, blogger at http://inthesaddleblog.wordpress.com/, for the correction mentioned in the comments below.