Cavendish to make Giro d'Italia return after nine-year absence

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Mark Cavendish will return to the Giro d'Italia after a nine-year absence after he was confirmed to be heading up the QuickStep-AlphaVinyl team at 2022's first Grand Tour event.

Cavendish last featured in the race in 2013, topping the points classification after winning five stages.

The legendary sprinter has 15 stage wins in five previous appearances in the race, and will be hoping to replicate his successful comeback at last year's Tour de France, where he matched Eddy Merckx's career record of 34 stage victories, which had stood since 1975, after a three-year absence from the race.

As his team confirmed Cavendish's participation on Twitter, directeur sportif Davide Bramati said he is excited about the 36-year-old's chances of further success.

"We go to the Giro d’Italia with a lot of motivation. We have a good team at the start, with Mark as our man for the flat," Bramati said in a team statement.

"He has won a lot of stages at the Giro, and he can rely on many strong riders to support and guide him in the hectic bunch sprints.

"For the other stages, we'll just take it one day at a time, fight for every opportunity and see what we can do. We know that it won't be an easy three weeks, it never is, but we will try to do our best, because it's in our nature."

Mark Cavendish shares a Tour de France record with Eddy Merckx
Mark Cavendish shares a Tour de France record with Eddy Merckx

Cavendish's selection for the three-week race, which begins in Budapest on May 6 and finishes in Verona on May 29, does, however, make another appearance in the Tour de France appear to be unlikely this year, with Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen expected to get the nod.

The 36-year-old has been in good form in 2022, becoming the first British rider to win the Milano-Torino one-day race and picking up three race victories since the turn of the year.

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