Tom Boonen may race the Giro d'Italia in May for the first time in hist 14-year career, according to Etixx-Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere, but Mark Cavendish will not ride the year's first Grand Tour.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Lefevere confirmed ahead of Sunday's Paris-Roubaix that Cavendish will head across the Atlantic to take part in the Amgen Tour of California.
The Manxman won two stages in California last season in a race won by Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins, and claimed the sprinter's jersey in 2009 when racing for Columbia-High Road.
Before this, however, Cavendish will head east to the Presidential Tour of Turkey and could be joined by Boonen, who has not raced since suffering a separated shoulder at Paris-Nice in March.
The Belgian was ruled out of his beloved cobbled classics but took part in a reconnaissance of the Tour of Flanders with his Etixx teammates before the race, where Niki Terpstra finished second.
Should Boonen's return go smoothly, the 34-year-old could take to the start line of the Giro on May 9 in San Lorenzo.
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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
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