Mark Cavendish is bucking the trend – whilst most sprinters are opting not to ride the hilly UCI World Championships road race later this month in Tuscany. He is eager to ride, to repay his Great Britian teammates who helped him win the World title in Copenhagen in 2011.
“I owe a lot to the guys who have a chance this year,” he said, according to sporza.be. “I would like to pay Chris Froome back for the 230 kilometers that he rode at the head of the World Championships in Copenhagen.
This year's 272 kilometre-long course includes 10 laps of a hilly circuit course in the hills north of Florence, with a four- kilometre climb to be covered ten times. It is considered to be suitable for a climber or possibly a good-climbing sprinter but not for pure sprinters like Cavendish.
Froome is expected to lead the Great Britain team in the road race, while Bradley Wiggins targets the individual time trial. The rest of the Great Britain has still to be decided, with several riders tired after being part of Froome's Tour de France winning team.
"I hope I get in the selection of eight riders,” Cavendish said. “I think it's wonderful to ride for my country. Obviously I can't win, but I want to work well for the team as I did last year."
There is another reason to include Cavendish on the team – an intimate familiarity with the course, as he spends a lot of time in the area, in the town of Quarrata.
“I really know every inch. The team time trial takes place in my backyard and the road race circuit course passes literally a hundred metres from my door,” he said.
Cavendish has been competing on the track in Belgium but will be back on the road at the Tour of Britain that starts in Scotland on September 15.