Speaking at a special Giro d'Italia presentation with race director Angelo Zomegnan at the iconic Bar Italia in London, Cavendish suggested there were at least four stages that he could target in the first part of the race.
"I love the country, the Giro and the passion of the race. I had some great success in the Giro and other races such as Milan-San Remo in 2009. They're some of my fondest memories, so it’s great to go back there and race," Cavendish said.
"It's a beautiful Giro this year and it starts with a team time trial. We won the team time trial in 2009 and I got the maglia rosa and won three other stages. It was a special race for me and so it's back on my programme. To get some results would be incredible."
This year's race starts in Turin on May 7 and ends in Milan on May 29. The race will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, visiting 17 of the 20 regions of the country, including Sicily in the far south, before the final ten days in the Dolomites and the Alps.
It was suggested that seven stages could finish in sprints. Cavendish reckoned there would be four, with a chance of one or two others.
"For me there are less than seven. There are definitely four sprints and another one or two that could be sprints," he said.
"They are all in the first half. The first one is the first road day after the team time trial. Then another but they're not easy. Looking at the Livorno finish, there's a climb but it should be a sprint. The finish in Tuscany could be a battle between Bennati...
"As of today I'm officially an integral part of the team," he said. "After a period of rest, these next few days I'm going to start training on the road. To wear this jersey, even just for the photo shoot, was very exciting. I can't wait to wear the team colours on the road, too.”
The Czech won't be racing for few more months. “I'm going to start competing in the month of May. My main goal in this first year on the road will be to understand how to act on asphalt. I've got a lot to learn but fortunately I'm on a major team, surrounded by athletes and staff with tons of experience that are going to help me on this journey."
He is expected to make his season debut at either the Tour of California or the Tour of Belgium.
The two-time 'cross World Champion won't turn his back on his roots, though. "In addition to road racing, I'm also going to be competing in the cyclo-cross season, where I can wear my champion's jersey. We still haven't worked out an official schedule, but I think I'll be able to combine both activities well. If I manage my training right I can be competitive in cross, and as of next year, on the road, too."
Tour de San Luis winner Marco Arriagada has tested positive for an anabolic substance. It is understood that the Chilean returned the positive test en route to overall victory in his national tour in early February. He has denied any wrongdoing.
“I’m returning to Chile to perform all the tests to prove my innocence,” he continued. “The Federation informed me and now we have to see with my lawyers.”
Arriagada has dominated the Latin American calendar since the turn of the year, with wins in Argentina, Chile and the Dominican Republic. His Tour de San Luis victory was particularly noteworthy, as the 35-year-old saw off a field including the likes of José Serpa, Xavier Tondo and Ivan Basso to take overall honours.
Arriagada is set to arrive in Chile on Tuesday evening ahead of the counter-analysis of his sample.
Teams seek active role in the governance of pro cycling
The International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP) is pleased that a meeting will take place on Thursday between UCI President Pat McQuaid and rider representatives regarding the race radio ban. While the race radio ban is the topic of immediate discussion, the AIGCP, led by president Jonathan Vaughters, hopes this meeting will lead to further discussions regarding future UCI legislation.
"The AIGCP is happy that the UCI has finally accepted its invitation to begin constructive discussion regarding the use of radio communication in professional cycling," said a press statement today from the AIGCP. "We hope that Thursday's meeting will bring about a compromise that suits all parties and is a catalyst to more productive discussion between the UCI and teams regarding all future legislation in the professional arm of cycling.
"We want to make it clear that the radios are only the most topical issue for the AIGCP, but certainly not the most important. Issues that range from equipment regulations to anti-doping are all of great interest to the teams, and we are equally interested in making our point of view heard on these issues, just as the radios.
"Our stance is that since the teams in cycling, collectively, represent over $400M in annual revenue and over 3000 employees, we are the largest stakeholder in professional cycling and therefore should have a concrete vote on any and all legislation that affects our workplace. Positions on advisory boards are not an acceptable solution for the teams. Only with concrete votes by a elected representatives placed on the UCI's management committee will the teams be appropriately represented in creation and approval of legislation."
The AIGCP believes that by enabling the teams to take an active role in the creation of legislation, actions taken by riders at the
Matti Breschel (Rabobank) looks set to miss the Spring Classics this year as he continues to be plagued by knee problems. The Dane underwent surgery on his right knee in November after suffering the recurrence of an old injury in the second half of last season, but he has struggled to make a full recovery.
“I dare not predict when I can race again,” Breschel told Ekstra Bladet. “The only thing that is certain is that this time I will take the necessary time to recover fully.
“Of course, it’s frustrating that I probably can’t ride the Classics but I will move forward and set myself new goals.”
The 26-year-old also cast doubt on his Tour de France participation, admitting that he should not be included in Rabobank’s roster unless he is fully fit by July.
“The team is chasing the victory,” Breschel said. “We believe that Robert Gesink can win, so it is no good to start without being completely ready.”
In spite of his injury woes, the he continues to harbour ambitions of shining at the world championships on home roads in Copenhagen. Breschel has silver and bronze medals to his name in the event from 2010 and 2008,...
Zomegnan was hoping the event would focus on the announcement that Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) will ride this year's Giro, but Kimmage asked him about the role he plays in sorting out the problem of doping in professional cycling.
Zomegnan was careful with his answers and so Kimmage repeated his question three times.
"I'm not sure that one day we'll be out of the doping problem but I'm sure that every year we're doing better and more important than the year before," Zomegnan said in his far from perfect English.
"Last year the Giro d'Italia was the most controlled in the history of the race, with more than 520 controls. And for every control that was done by UCI and WADA, the lab did six or seven tests. Cycling is the most controlled sport in the world. Not only are the riders now on the right line but I think the now the...
UCI Continental squad hosts a long-weekend camp in Santa Rosa
US-based UCI Continental team Wonderful Pistachios recently signed two additional riders to its program: Tom Faiers, a former ProTeam rider from Footon-Servetto and Iggy Silva, a notable US criterium racer from Trek-Livestrong. The 10-man roster united at a weekend training camp held from February 25-27 in Santa Rosa, California.
"It is a big deal for our team to sign a rider like Faiers with that kind of European experience from racing the ProTour last year," said team manager Josh Horowitz. "His manager thought that being in the US, where he could really develop his skills and talent, would be beneficial to his long term cycling career."
"We are really lucky to have him on board and when you watch him training you can just tell that this is a guy who knows how to ride his bike," he said. "Silva fits really well into our team dynamic as someone who can do really well at the one day races and criteriums."
The squad's new riders include Faiers and Silva, Sterling Magnell, Neil Coleman, Taylor Bertrand-Barrett, Menso de Jong and Victor Riquelme. Returning riders include Tim Farnham, Alexi Martinez and Eric Bennett. The team met at a short but productive camp in Santa Rosa that included distributing team issued Orbea bikes and other sponsored products, photo opportunities, long training rides and team dinners.
"We stayed with three host families," Horowitz said. "It had a little bit more of a cozy and family atmosphere to the camp. Riders and staff there were 20 people. Half the team lives in Northern California and know a lot of the roads that we rode during the weekend. There was an incredible synergy amongst the riders."
"A big part of the camp was getting images of the team," he added. "We have a lot of people watching us but up until this weekend there wasn't a single image of the riders in the new jerseys. That was one of our main focus was to start creating an image of the team, showcasing the riders and the...
American sprinter heads California-based MonsterMediaRacing.com in 2011
Kayle Leogrande, who completed a two-year sanctioning last November for a non-analytical positive will return to the North American peloton in 2011 with the MonsterMediaRacing.com team.
The American sprinter recently admitted that he was guilty and alleged that the now defunct Rock Racing team, for which he was racing at the time, advised him to deny all charges.
"In regard to my suspension, I find myself exhausted with every part of the subject," Leogrande told Cyclingnews. "However, I'm going to be honest, because I find it to be something that will always be looked at in a negative light, so being half honest would only be a waste of time and energy on my part. While I was on Rock Racing I was advised by staff to say I was innocent and not to admit anything."
When asked if he would continue to maintain his innocence in regard to the US Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) two-year sanction for a non-analytic case in 2008, Leogrande said, "Now after serving my suspension I can say I was guilty. It's not something I'm proud of, and I just want to move on with my life. Over the last two years I've struggled with many things that my bad decisions brought into my life from this, financially, and mentally, and at the end of the day I feel grateful to have learned valuable lessons, and the ability to see things more clearly."
On December 1, 2008, USADA announced that a three-person, independent panel of arbitrators from the American Arbitration Association (AAA)/North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that Kayle Leogrande committed an anti-doping rule violation. The panel found that Leogrande used the prohibited substance erythropoietin (EPO), when competing in The Point Premium Root Beer International Cycling Classic, on July 26, 2007.
It was reported that Leogrande produced a 'borderline' A-sample, during the Superweek series. However, he did not produce a positive test nor did he admit to guilt...