Cees Bol explains why Tour de Suisse was important in Mark Cavendish's Tour preparation: "The Tour starts very hard and we have to be ready for that"

Reading through the startlist for the recent Tour de Suisse, you could notice that besides numerous climbers, also a handful of sprinters made the trip to Switzerland. The list includes names like Jordi Meeus, Bryan Coquard and of course; Mark Cavendish. What were they after in the Swiss mountains? The Manxman's teammate Cees Bol, also a strong sprinter himself, provides an answer.

"Training, that's why we're here," Cees Bol expalins the decision to In de Leiderstrui. "That's not that difficult. It's nice to compete in the final, but that's just not possible for us here. The first day was still something of a chance, but that was not to be the case in the end. All in all, however, we know why we are participating here,"

Cavendish wants to go for his 35th stage victory in July, but the years of sprinting four times in week one at Tour de France are over. "The Tour starts very hard again, so it is just nice to be at the start with good climbing legs. We have to be ready for that and at the moment it looks good," says Bol, who indeed saw his sprinter Cavendish get through the five consecutive mountain stages with grace.

Bol was also able to work his way up comfortably, he said. "The form is there. We had a good altitude training. In Switzerland it is of course difficult to really measure the shape, but I feel good. We will have a few more days - and the National Championships in between - to do some specific work. I have ambitions for the National Championships, but it is always a difficult competition. There are a few big names at the start, so the responsibility will be theirs. Then follows the Tour, with me, Mark and Michael as a clear group. Is there extra tension? The Tour is always exciting," Bol concluded.

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