This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com.
World Champion Mark Cavendish will lead a strong Team Sky at the Giro d’Italia, which starts on May 5, in Denmark. The British sprinter will head up a nine-man selection that includes Bernhard Eisel, Juan Antonio Flecha, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas, Sergio Henao, Rigoberto Urán and Peter Kennaugh.
“The Giro is one of my favourite races of the season and I’m very happy to be riding it,” Cavendish said in a press release.
“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.
“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 honour for the team.
“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.”
The team won’t just focus on supporting Cavendish though. Ben Swift returns to the Giro, having made his grand tour debut at the race in 2009, and will be looking for stage wins. Sergio Henao will make his grand tour debut, and along with Uran will compete for high positions in the mountain stages.
Steven de Jongh, the team’s sports director added: “We have a very strong squad here which we feel can be competitive on several fronts. In Mark Cavendish we have the fastest sprinter in the world and he will be looking to get some stage wins under his belt as quickly as possible.”
“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.”