Mark Cavendish is delighted with his preparation ahead of Milan-San Remo as he attempts to win the race for a second time.
In 2009 Cavendish famously claimed a thrilling last-gasp win in cycling's first Monument of the season when a blistering sprint saw him edge ahead of Heinrich Haussler.
That was the 100th edition of professional cycling's longest one-day race and ever since then the Briton has made no secret of his desire to win the 298 kilometres contest again, but this time in the world champion's jersey.
This is his first chance to do just that, having surged to victory in the World Championships in Copenhagen last September and he said: "To start any race in the rainbow jersey is very special and this is a special race in its own right so if you combine the two it's clear how much it means to me."
The 26-year-old has had a superb build-up to 'La Primavera', with four wins already this season including two in Qatar, Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne and, last week, a stage victory at Tirreno-Adriatico.
That latest victory in Italy underlined Cavendish's form, his sprint success coming at the end of more than six-and-a-half hours in the saddle which should serve as the ideal preparation for what faces him on Saturday.
He confirmed: "This year I’m in great form, the team’s going really well and in good spirits and I think we are strong enough to deal with everything that’s thrown at us."
Cavendish is also unfazed at being favourite for the race, adding: "With myself there for the sprint and Edvald [Boasson Hagen] there for the attacks we’ve got that covered too. I think we can be very confident.
"But what makes San Remo special is that a lot of the people who start have got a chance of winning; there are so many different variables in the race so we’ll see what happens."
Leaving nothing to chance
Cavendish has just kept things ticking over in the last few days, explaining: "Tirreno was a tough race for everyone - and everybody finished tired - but I've got good form and really good sensations in the legs. It's just been a case of resting up and letting that form come out again on Saturday."
But he's also made time to recce the pivotal last third of Saturday's race, explaining: "I did the last 100k as there are three very technical descents – and the climbs of course."
And that meticulous preparation has dovetailed to great effect with what he calls the perfect environment at Team Sky, adding: "It’s so structured here; everything is set to a regime. And I love that and thrive on it. It’s not just about producing the performances on the day, they really care about making us better."