Mark Cavendish heads up Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at Giro d'Italia

The team has pinned its hopes on the Manx Missile in the sprints

Mark Cavendish
(Image credit: Getty)

Mark Cavendish will be the main man for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at the Giro d'Italia 2022.

The Italian Grand Tour kicks off in Budapest on Friday, May 6, before the peloton makes its way over to Sicily as the Giro route enters its home turf. 

Quick-Step are pinning their hopes on the sprints, fielding Manxman Cavendish as their team leader. 

Confirmation that Cav will ride the Giro means it's unlikely he will also contest the Tour de France sprints, where one more win would see him surpass the total victories of Eddy Merckx, having secured 34 so far to equal the historic record.

Team mate Fabio Jakobsen is likely to take the sprint lead in France, having noted at a pre-season training camp: "[Cavendish] knows that the Tour is my goal and that he will ride the Giro himself.”

The Italian race includes six summit finishes, 26 kilometres of individual time trial racing, and - crucially for Cav - five clear opportunities for the sprinters. 

Now 36-years-old, Cavendish has ridden the Giro five times, having taken 15 stage wins; this year will mark his first appearance at the race since 2013. 

Alongside the sprinter will be lead-out man Michael Mørkøv, British rider James Knox, plus Mauro Schmid, Pieter Serry, Bert Van Lerberghe, and Mauri Vansevenant, and Davide Ballerini.

Sports director Davide Bramati has called Cavendish the team's "man on the flat," saying that on other stages, they'll "take it one day at a time, fight for every opportunity and see what we can do."

“We go to the Giro d’Italia with a lot of motivation," he added. "We have a good team at the start. [Cavendish] has won a lot of stages at the Giro, and he can rely on many strong riders to support and guide him in the hectic bunch sprints."

Looking ahead to the 105th edition of the race, with its 50,000 vertical metres of climbing, he added: "We know that it won’t be an easy three weeks, it never is, but we will try to do our best, because it’s in our nature."

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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan

Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.

Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor. 

Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.