Cavendish grand sprint to ride the Giro d’Italia

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Paris (AFP)- Veteran British sprinter Mark Cavendish will take part in the Giro d’Italia which starts on Friday, his Quick-Step cycling team has announced.

The news makes it less likely, but far from impossible, that Cavendish will next race the Tour de France in July, where he is co-holder with Eddy Merckx of a record 34 stage wins.

Belgian team Quick-Step specialize in winning stages rather than touring and have previously said 25-year-old Fabio Jakobsen will be their first choice in the Tour de France, ahead of Cavendish who will be 37 by then.

“Mark is our man for the flat stages in Italy,” said Quick-Step sporting director Davide Bramati. “And he can count on a lot of strong riders to support him and guide him in the hectic sprints of the peloton.”

The good news for Cavendish is that Quick-Step has also named their favorite frontman Michael Morkov alongside him on the eight-man roster.

Cavendish has already won 15 stages on the Giro, with Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini being the record holder with 42.

Several top sprinters have been named to race the Giro with Australian Caleb Ewan of Lotto and Arnaud Demare of FDJ targeting five potential sprint finishes.

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