Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen Race Calendar Update
Etixx - Quick-Step has released the race calendars of Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen for the upcoming months.
Mark Cavendish will open the next part of his season with the same program of 2014 prior to Le Tour de France. He will race the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey, a race in which he won four stages and the points classification the previous year. He will then participate in AMGEN Tour of California. Next on the race calendar of Cavendish is the Tour de Suisse, and finally the British National Road Championship before Le Tour de France.
The big news comes with the race calendar of Tom Boonen as he will return to racing a little more than a month after he crashed at Paris-Nice. He will also participate in Tour of Turkey, which will tune up his condition ahead of the Giro d'Italia.
"After his crash Tom worked really hard to come back as soon as possible," Sport & Development Manager Rolf Aldag said. "This shows how a big disappointment like his crash, and the inability to ride the Classics because of his injuries, can become a big chance. Riding Tour of Turkey, and then the Giro for the first time in his career, is turning out to be a new challenge for him. He will be an important part of the team strategy. The experience of Tom will be an important element in a few key race situations, as we will go to the Giro with Rigoberto Uran as our leader. We are happy that Tom can be part of the team in such an important race. As for his calendar after the Giro, we will see how his situation evolves at his upcoming races and reshape his calendar in function of his performance and his feeling.
"About Mark, after Gent-Wevelgem he took a period of well deserved rest," Aldag continued. "He will have the same program as last year, which is also the program he did in the past when he went on to perform well at Le Tour de France. Even last year it was a good approach for him, and he demonstrated this with success at the races. But unfortunately he couldn't prove how good the approach was due to a crash in the first stage of Le Tour. We believe based on last year and his other career performances that this is the right race schedule for Mark to be in the best shape for Le Tour de France."
"I'm very excited to start the next part of the season," Boonen said. "It will be nice to go to the Tour of Turkey, a race I've never done before and see what happens. For sure I will be suffering a little bit, but it will be useful for the Giro. As for the Giro, I'm happy to be at the start for the first time in my career to support the team strategy in function of Rigo. This is also a really nice new experience for me. I haven't raced a lot in Italy in my career due to conflicts with my big objectives. Now, I have that chance. I know I have a lot of supporters in Italy. The Giro has great tradition and it will be great to race there and fight for the Maglia Rosa together with Uran."
"I'm looking forward to this important part of my season," Cavendish sad. "Together with the team we decided to go with the same program of last year. Last year it was a successful period with victories at Tour of Turkey, Tour of California, and Tour de Suisse. I also went into Le Tour with a really good feeling. But unfortunately I crashed in the first stage, so everything was over in a second. Of course it's a pity. I don't like to miss the Giro, which is a key race that helped me build up my career. I have great memories of that race and I hope to come back to the Giro in the future and do well again. But as of this year I want to focus on the optimal preparation for the Tour de France, and going into the races to return to the high level of performance I had at the beginning of the year."