Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team announced that the British sprinter will return to the road for the Tour of Turkey at the end of April before riding the Tour of California and Tour de Suisse ahead of the Tour de France.
British sprinter Cavendish, who had skipped the last few races due to illness, had been expected to race in Turkey but the added dates show a determination to be race fit for a green jersey challenge in France.
And the decision to miss Italy’s Grand Tour shows a concerted effort to contest the green jersey at the Tour de France, which starts in Yorkshire this year.
"As everybody knows, my big goal this year is the Tour de France," Cavendish said. "Especially as it starts in my native country.
“My program is shaped for that moment. This year I will skip the Giro d'Italia. I'm saddened as it's a race that has given me great satisfaction in the past. I have great memories and victories, even last year.
“But, with the Tour de France as my main objective this year, we had to make some choices. I'm sure passing through the Tour of Turkey, and a great, well organized race like Tour of California will get me in shape and ready for the Tour de Suisse, which will be my final tune-up for the Tour de France."
Cavendish’s team explained why they made the decision to skip the Giro.
"With the sickness Mark had, we had to reshape his calendar a little bit," Sport and Development Manager Rolf Aldag said. "It's a shame because Mark showed how strong he was at Milano-Sanremo.
“He could have taken advantage of his condition during the period immediately after that race. But, it is what it is, and now we have rebuilt the best approach for Cavendish heading into the Tour.
“Cav is now training in Italy and will be back at Tour of Turkey with a good, strong team around him. With Tour of Turkey we will open the second part of his season, that culminates with the Tour de France.”
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- Tour de France
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