Hayles backs Cavendish for Italian win

15 March 2012 / 12:43

Mark Cavendish will bid to reclaim the coveted Milan-San Remo title in Italy on Saturday - and Rob Hayles hopes he has played his part in the Manxman's success.

Cavendish triumphed in the 298-kilometre Italian one-day race in 2009 in a victory which proved his burgeoning ability and paved the way for success at last September's World Championships in Copenhagen.

Hayles has helped Cavendish to prepare for the 2012 season in which the 26-year-old Team Sky rider will bid to add to his 20 Tour de France stage successes and ride for Olympic gold in London on July 28.

Winning the fabled Milan-San Remo race in the world champion's rainbow jersey is a stated ambition of Cavendish.

And Hayles, who won Madison world gold alongside Cavendish in 2005, believes the aim is achievable this weekend.

Hayles, speaking as a 'Near Naked Man Cycling Ambassador' for Male Cancer Awareness Campaign, told Press Association Sport: "It's his first goal and he's definitely in the shape to do it.

"So many variables come into it, but he's really on it. He's hit the ground running this year.

"He's in good shape, with good morale."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2012, All Rights Reserved.