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Giro d'Italia

Cavendish looks to add more Giro stages to his tally

Mark Cavendish says he will be hungry to embellish his impressive career-victory tally at the Giro d'Italia

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World champion Mark Cavendish says he will be hungry to embellish his impressive career-victory tally when he lines up with Team Sky at the Giro d’Italia which begins next week.

Cavendish, a 20-time stage winner at the Tour de France, has won seven stages at the three-week Italian stage race as well as three at the Tour of Spain.

But despite targeting more success, the Isle of Man sprinter hopes teammates Geraint Thomas, Ben Swift and Peter Kennaugh – all of whom competed at the track world championships earlier this month in Melbourne – share in the glory.

“The Giro is one of my favorite races of the season and I’m very happy to be riding it,” Cavendish told teamsky.com.

“We’ve got a good squad to go and win stages. Geraint, Pete and Swifty have just come off the track, so they should have that explosive power which will be important in the first week, and the rest of the team have all done well in the classics.”

The Giro, which this year begins in Denmark, opens with a team time trial on May 5, which he also hopes the team can win.

“We want to win the team time trial as well and hopefully that will get us the pink jersey. If we could achieve that it would be a massive honor for the team,” added Cavendish.

“It should be a really good three weeks because we’re all friends and have a good understanding on the road. The Tour de Romandie has allowed me to get some miles in the legs, so come the start in Denmark I’ll be raring to go.”

Thomas, who won the Romandie prologue earlier this week, added: “I’m really looking forward to the Giro, especially as I haven’t ridden a great deal on the road this season.

“I took part in the race once before in 2008 and found it to be a lot less stressful than the Tour de France. The atmosphere is fantastic and Italy is a special country to ride in.”

Sky’s sports director Steven de Jongh is hoping that once the race moves into the mountains climbers Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao will get their chance to shine.

He said, “Once the race hits the mountains Rigoberto and Sergio will become our focus, and if Rigo can continue the good form he showed over the spring then he is more than capable of achieving a high placing in the general classification.”

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