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VN news ticker: Geraint Thomas, Mads Pedersen confirm Giro d’Italia start; Primož Roglič hints at Tour return; Astana interested in Cavendish

Here's the news making headlines on Wednesday, December 14.

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Geraint Thomas, Aleksandr Vlasov, Mads Pedersen among latest to confirm Giro d’Italia start

The GC and sprinter field for the 2023 Giro d’Italia filled out a little this week.

Ineos Grenadiers captain Geraint Thomas confirmed Tuesday he will be racing for pink next May. Meanwhile, Bora-Hangrohe boss Ralph Denk suggested GC dark horse Aleskandr Vlasov will be racing in Italy while the team’s defending champion Jai Hindley heads to the Tour de France.

Thomas and Vlasov will join Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) in the hunt for the maglia rosa of the Italian tour, May 6-28.

There will be some intrigue around Thomas’ Giro bid in what could be his last pro season. The Welshman finished an unforecasted third at this year’s Tour and has described the Giro as “unfinished business” after crashing out of his previous two efforts in the race.

Trek-Segafredo’s versatile sprinter Mads Pedersen also this week confirmed he will return to the Giro for the first time since 2018.

The dynamic Dane won stages at both the Tour and Vuelta a España last summer and will be looking to join the select club of riders to have won across all three grand tours.

Primož Roglič hints at Tour de France return

Roglič crashed oit of both the 2021 and 2022 Tours. (: BENOIT TESSIER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Primož Roglič hinted his 2023 may focus around the Tour de France.

The Slovenian is scrambling for form after shoulder surgery this autumn saw him off the bike and in a process of rehab for around three months. The training setback leads the Jumbo-Visma captain to believe previous suggestions of a Giro d’Italia start may prove impossible.

“I would like to ride the Giro again, but will that be in 2023? I have to recover 100 percent from this injury first. Only then can I set my goals. I fear that the Giro will come too early next season. It depends on how long I can’t go full out because of this injury,” Roglič told Wielerflits.

“The months are flying by. I now wonder whether I can still start the Giro at the top level next year or whether it is wiser to take more time and prepare myself optimally for the Tour de France.”

Roglič was within touching distance of winning the 2020 Tour but crashed out of his past two appearances at the race.

The 33-year-old was realistic about any potential ambions at the 2023 Grande Boucle as Jumbo-Visma looks to defend the number one bib of Jonas Vingegaard.

“It is clear that my ‘job’ in the Tour is not done yet. The future will show what is still possible. I definitely want to return to the Tour de France. My first assignment will be to make it to Paris again. After the last two disappointing editions, I have to go back to basics and try to achieve that first goal again,” Roglič said. “But of course I want to compete in the top of the standings.

“The coming edition is going to be special anyway with Jonas wearing number 1 and we have to defend the title as Jumbo-Visma . I like to be there.”

Astana-Qazakstan interested in Mark Cavendish

The list of teams attached to Mark Cavendish is growing.

Since the collapse of the B&B Hotels team earlier this month that the Brit had been linked to, speculation has been rampant about where he could end up to attempt to win his record 35th Tour de France stage next summer. The American ProTeam Human Powered Health has floated around as a possible, if slightly surprising, landing point.

Add to that list Astana-Qazakstan.

Team manager Alexander Vinokourov told Cyclingnews that he called Cavendish after learning of the B&B Hotel team’s demise and that the team is in negotiations with Cavendish’s representatives. He cautioned that nothing is final.

“We’d have to reach a full agreement,” he said. “For the moment, nothing is decided.”

Despite the late stage of the year, with many team camps already under way, Cavendish seems likely to end up with a contract for 2023, especially given his good form in 2023 that led to several wins, and the huge potential upside for any team if he were to beat Eddy Merckx’s Tour de France stage win record this summer.

The 37-year-old sprinter’s friend and former Team Sky teammate Peter Kennaugh also recently said on the Never Strays Far podcast that Cavendish has a contract for next season.

Others set to ride for the B&B team in 2023 have fared less well, with some retiring and others still scrambling for a select few roster spots still available.