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Giro d'Italia rider galleries: Mark Cavendish

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Mark Cavendish relinquished his grip on the maglia rosa

Mark Cavendish relinquished his grip on the maglia rosa (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma - QuickStep)

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma - QuickStep) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma QuickStep) wins the opening stage of the Giro

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma QuickStep) wins the opening stage of the Giro (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) remembers Wouter Weylandt

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) remembers Wouter Weylandt (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Stage 6 winner Mark Cavendish was quick to thank his Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammates at the finish line

Stage 6 winner Mark Cavendish was quick to thank his Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammates at the finish line (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins (Sky) congratulates former teammate and stage six winner Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) congratulates former teammate and stage six winner Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) beat Viviani and Bouhanni

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) beat Viviani and Bouhanni (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Mark Cavendish in the Omega Pharma - Quick Step team

Mark Cavendish in the Omega Pharma - Quick Step team (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Former teammates Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins chat on the stage 5 start line

Former teammates Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins chat on the stage 5 start line (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sprinter Mark Cavendish wins the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia

Sprinter Mark Cavendish wins the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Points classification leader Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)

Points classification leader Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) enjoys the kisses

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) enjoys the kisses (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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On the startline with Mark Cavendish and Omega Pharma QuickStep

On the startline with Mark Cavendish and Omega Pharma QuickStep (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Friends Mark Cavendish and Paul Smith have a chat

Friends Mark Cavendish and Paul Smith have a chat (Image credit: Sam Dansie)
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Former teammates Mark Cavendish and Matt Goss share a laugh

Former teammates Mark Cavendish and Matt Goss share a laugh (Image credit: Sirotti)

Twelve stage wins at the Italian three-week race and two already notched-up in the opening week of the 2013 edition suggests that Mark Cavendish will walk away from the Giro d'Italia with a greater tally than what he had when entering the first rest day after nine days of racing.

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After taking his second win, two years to the day Wouter Weylandt tragically died at the Giro, Cavendish paid tribute to the fallen rider on the podium. He later suggested that he was not yet in top condition but that his track record of converting bunch sprint contests into wins couldn't be much better.

"There have been two bunch sprint wins and I've won both. It couldn't be going better," said Cavendish.

"I'm not in top form yet. If I was then I'd have got over that climb [on Stage 5]," he added when referring to the final ascent into Matera where the Omega Pharma - Quick-Step sprinter was dropped.

Having voiced his concerns over his team's apparent inability to consistently set him up for bunch sprints in the earlier part of the year Cavendish had only praise for his Giro squad after taking his most recent win on Stage 6. With limited chances for the fastmen to shine at this year's race it's expected that Cavendish will not be wasting any opportunity to taste more of that sweet podium champagne.