Since 2011, Mark Cavendish has spent May racing the Giro d'Italia but in 2014 he has decided instead to race the Tour of California. Cavendish has won 15 stages of the Giro and last year won the points classification jersey but in April announced that in order to prepare for his season goal, the Tour de France, his racing schedule will slightly differ to previous years.
""This year I will skip the Giro d'Italia," Cavendish said. 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."
While Alessandro Petacchi will be occupied in Italy, key leadout man Mark Renshaw will be by Cavendish's side in California as the "Manx Missile" looks to put Peter Sagan's (Cannondale) dominance at the race to an end.
Neo-pro Carlos Verona will be given a license to test his legs on the two mountain stages of the race - stage there to Mount Diablo and stage six to Mountain High are both summit finishes - while the rest of the team will work to deliver Cavendish to stage wins.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step for the Tour of California: Mark Cavendish, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Carlos Verona, Mark Renshaw, Martin Velits, Matteo Trentin, Niki Terpstra and Tom Boonen.