Mark Cavendish ‘hungry’ to land first win of the season at Giro d’Italia

British rider is one of several options for Astana Qazaqstan at Italian Grand Tour as they go in search of stage wins

Mark Cavendish
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mark Cavendish has said that he’s “hungry” to try and achieve his first win for his new team Astana Qazaqstan at the fast-approaching Giro d’Italia.

The British rider has come close to victory on two occasions already for Astana, at Scheldeprijs last month and at the UAE Tour in February, but is hoping to improve on his two third places in both races, claiming a stage of the Italian Grand Tour.

“I'm looking forward to my first Grand Tour with Astana Qazaqstan,” Cavendish said. “Of course, we don't have a sprint focused team like many others. But we have a very strong team for hunting for stage wins across the 21 days.”

Despite not having a dedicated sprint train at the Corsa Rosa, Cavendish explained that it won't change things for him as he goes in search of his 17th Giro stage win.

“Having a team not focused solely on the sprints relieves the pressure from my shoulders slightly, though of course I'm hungry to try and win,” he said. “Although we don't have a train, I know I have the confidence of my team around me in the flat days and I'll do all I can to support my teammates in the other stages.

“The Giro d'Italia is a race that I enjoy and has a special place in my heart. The nature of the course makes it unpredictable for how many sprint opportunities there are, but I'm looking forward to trying to add to my 16 stage wins.”

Ahead of his attempt to grab a record breaking 35th stage win at this summer's Tour de France, the current British national champion will be looking to gain some much-needed form across the three weeks of racing in Italy.

The 37-year-old explained that two brief bouts of illness have meant he is yet to get up to full speed with his new team this year.

“Like a high percentage of the peloton and the world in general, staying healthy continues to be something we have to pay particular attention to. I've had a couple of sickness bugs this year, but fortunately nothing too severe,” Cavendish explained. “Missing days of training or racing is never ideal, but I'll always try to make the most of where I'm at.”

Cavendish's last win came at last year's British national championships in Castle Douglas, Scotland. 

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Tom joined Cycling Weekly in early 2022 and his news stories, rider interviews and features appear both online and in the magazine. 

He has reported from some of professional cycling's biggest races and events including the Tour de France and the recent Glasgow World Championships. He has also covered races elsewhere across the world and interviewed some of the sport's top riders. 

When not writing news scoops from the WorldTour, or covering stories from elsewhere in the domestic professional scene, he reports on goings on at bike shops up and down the UK, where he is based when not out on the road at races. He has also appeared on the Radio Cycling podcast.