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Cantwell Relishing Life in the Fast Lane

Discussion in 'Specialized' started by I-am-Specialized, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. I-am-Specialized

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    <p>Jonathan Cantwell (Specialized bikes) crashed out of Sunday's final stage, but it couldn't put a damper on a solid season debut with Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank at the 15th Tour Down Under.</p><p>
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    Though he didn't get a win – his best was third in stage 4 – Cantwell was satisfied with how the week unfolded in the World Tour season-opener.</p><p>
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    "It's been a good week. I was up there the other day in the sprint. I came through fast, so that's a good sign that the speed is there," Cantwell said. "The first race of the season is always good to blow out the cobwebs. I hope to really firing in the coming months back in Europe."</p><p>
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    Cantwell will be one of Saxo-Tinkoff's top sprinters for 2013. He and Italian Daniele Bennati will carry the team's load in the bunch sprints.</p><p>
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    While the team is largely focused on supporting Alberto Contador and his quest for the Tour de France, Cantwell will see plenty of action nonetheless.</p><p>
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    After Tour Down Under, he will race the Tour of Qatar, Tour du Haut Var before Paris-Nice and Milan-San Remo.</p><p>
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    "I am sprinting good. I am climbing good. I have a broad spectrum and the team is giving me a great program," he said. "I will have plenty of chances to race this year. The big goal is to punch through for a big win in Europe."</p><p>
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    Cantwell, 29, made the most of his first full European season in 2012, with a dozen top-10s in the sprints and a ride in Saxo Bank's Tour de France squad.</p><p>
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    He notched two stages at the Tour of Taiwan last year and was second in a stage at Paris-Corrèze. His top ride in the Tour was sixth in stage 4; all solid results that bolster his confidence for the coming campaign.</p><p>
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    "I came in last year and I immediately had a lot of opportunities to ride for myself," he said. "I am quite lucky. I stepped into the team and immediately became one of their top sprinters."</p><p>
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    With the departure of JJ Haedo, Cantwell will see more even opportunities in 2013 to sling his Specialized across the line first.</p><p>
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    "Last year was my first big Euro season and I was knocking it with the big boys," he said. "It was a steep learning curve, but I came out of the year a lot stronger. I am just building off last season and it will get even better throughout the season."</p><p>
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    He and Bennati, a proven winner in group sprints and hilly courses, will share the team's sprint load across the season.</p><p>
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    That's fine with Cantwell, who promises to keep making the most of his opportunity to race at the elite level.</p><p>
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    "Bennati is a renowned sprinter and we have two sprinters now, but there are so many races throughout the year, that we will each get plenty of chances to sprint," he said. "When I am here, he will be somewhere else. I will have lots of opportunities and hopefully race one of the grand tours. I just want to keep doing it and keep going fast."</p>

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