Adam Hansen has backed former teammate Mark Cavendish’s resolution to postpone his retirement by a 12 months in pursuit of creating biking historical past.
Hansen, the endurance dynamo turned CPA president, got here out of his personal retirement to trip alongside Cavendish on the Saitama Criterium on Sunday as a late substitute for Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny) within the Tour de France Legends staff.
Cavendish has claimed 34 levels of the Tour and shares the all-time stage win report with Eddy Merckx. He’d introduced his intention to retire on the finish of this 12 months through the Giro d’Italia in Could, with the Tour on his agenda.
His try to eclipse the report he shares with Merckx was marred when he crashed out of the latter, breaking his collarbone on stage eight. The incident apparently served as impetus to increase with Astana-Qazaqstan for yet one more 12 months, and yet one more shot at it re-writing the report books.
“We have been talking about it earlier than,” Hansen stated. “If he does it and he doesn’t succeed, then he is aware of. And if he didn’t come again there would at all times be a query mark and I don’t suppose he wished that over his head.”
“I’ve by no means seen him, particularly within the final 5 years, so blissful to be racing, which is sweet, and as a buddy, I’m blissful to see.”
Each in Japan and on the Prudential Singapore Criterium earlier than it, Cavendish has been reserved about his outlook on the 2024 Tour.
Nonetheless, Astana-Qazaqstan has been busy through the switch interval, signing each lead-out specialist Michael Morkov, who was instrumental in Cavendish’s 2021 Tour comeback, and his former coach, Vasilis Anastopoulos, from Soudal-Fast-Step. On the race this 12 months the squad additionally contracted retired Australian Mark Renshaw, Cavendish’s former celebrated lead-out man, as a dash guide.
“He was saying with Astana he feels so good there, the atmosphere’s good and it is a huge distinction and that helps his resolution to remain, with [team general manager Alexander] Vinokourov serving to him and the assist that he’s received there,” Hansen stated.
At 38, Cavendish is a veteran within the WorldTour peloton and isn’t a reputation that youthful sprinters quote when requested to call their rivals.
Nonetheless, in Japan, when chatting with the quite a few followers who attended the Saitama Criterium, a two-day exhibition occasion on the outskirts of Tokyo, the Briton emphasised the significance of attempting and different key, profitable traits Hansen nonetheless now vividly remembers.
“I bear in mind again in 2007 and Cav and I have been in T-Cell, we have been coaching. He had this coaching accomplice within the Isle of Man and the man stated, ‘Let’s faux to be somebody. Who do you need to be?’
“After which the man who stated this, I believe he stated he wished to be Mario Cipollini. And Cav stated, his precise phrases, ‘Fuck – I need to be Mark Cavendish.’
“And simply that mindset, he didn’t need to be another person, he simply wished to be himself and he actually believed in himself from the beginning.”