Mark Cavendish has recovered from the illness that forced him out of the Tour de Romandie and has been named for the Astana Qazaqstan team alongside the USA’s Joe Dombrowski and Gianni Moscon.
Cavendish will not have an experienced leadout man for the Giro d’Italia sprints, with Cees Bol not part of Astana Qazaqstan’s plan for the Corsa Rosa. Astana Qazaqstan told Cyclingnews that the Dane will prepare for the Tour de France, where Cavendish is looking to beat the 34 stage race win record he currently shares with Eddy Merckx.
Dombrowski recently rode the Tour of the Alps and was expected to go on to ride the Tour de Romandie and then the Tour de France. However, he was also a reserve for the Giro d’Italia in case of illness in the team.
He did not travel to Switzerland last week and was named in Astana Qazaqstan’s eight-rider line-up for the Giro d’Italia. He won a stage in the 2021 Giro d’Italia and is likely to have the freedom to target mountain stages.
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Moscon struggled to recover from COVID-19 in 2022 and then fractured his collarbone at the Tour Down Under in January. He returned to racing in late March and made a late decision to ride Paris-Roubaix as he returned to form.
Also in the squad are former Under 23 world champion Samuele Battistella, Simone Velasco, Luis Leon Sanchez, Vadim Pronskiy, Christian Scaroni and Moscon. They will come together to help position Cavendish in the sprints.
Cavendish has still to win a race in 2023 but finished third at Scheldeprijs before spending time in Mallorca to train for the Giro d’Italia. He has ridden the Corsa Rosa six times, winning 16 stages.
His biggest rivals in the Giro d’Italia sprints include Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Magnus Cort (EF Education-EasyPost), Michael Matthews (Jayco-AlUla), Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Simone Conossin (Cofidis), Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ), Mads Würtz Schmidt (Israel-Premier Tech) and Fernando Gaviria (Movistar).
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