Hayden Roulston kicks off a 2011 pro tour season that he hopes will bring significant results with the Tour of Oman that starts tomorrow (Tuesday 15 February).
“The training has been going very well, I’m feeling good and really excited to get my European season started,” Roulston said.
“I know I’ve been at a good level for a while now and I want to have a crack and nail some major results this season. I know I’m at a good level physically and mentally, and I have had the classics as a goal for some time now.”
Roulston said his HTC Highroad team support his goal of targeting the European classics for a good result and the Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist is specifically focused on the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix where he achieved a top 10 finish last year while ill.
“I had a good result in Paris Roubaix last year when I was really sick and know I could have gone much better than the 10th I got – it showed I can mix it with the best on those big one day classics and I am really looking forward to mixing it up again this year full fit.”
After the six stage Tour of Oman Roulston heads to Europe for two one day races on February 26 and 27, the Omloop Het Volt and the Kuurne Brussel Kuurne, where he was fourth last year in freezing wet conditions.
Roulston then has a two week break before the seven day Italian tour Tirreno Adriatico and then he lines up in support of Mark Cavendish for Milan San Remo on March 17 before hitting the main classics, the Tour of Flanders on April 3 and Paris Roubaix on April 10.
“After a break for a few years this is my third season back racing the pro tour in Europe and I know I’m ready for a big season this year. I’m really enjoying being part of the HTC team, we have a very strong group and that is really important.”
Roulston said he was also looking forwards to wearing the New Zealand National Champion’s jersey in Europe for the first time.
“I worked so hard to win that jersey and I’m really looking forward to wearing it in the big pro races in Europe.”
Roulston will return to New Zealand on 14 April for a break before returning to Europe with a focus on securing a spot in the HTC Highroad team for July’s Tour de France.