Cavendish heads Team Sky Giro squad

27 April 2012 / 15:35

World champion Mark Cavendish heads a group of five Britons in Team Sky's nine-man squad for next month's Giro d'Italia.

The 26-year-old from the Isle of Man is set to ride his first Grand Tour for the British team alongside compatriots Peter Kennaugh, Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard and Ben Swift.

Kennaugh and Thomas are using the race, which begins in Herning, Denmark, on May 5 and finishes in Milan on May 27, in part as conditioning for the four-kilometre team pursuit at the Olympic Games, while Stannard and Swift are in contention to support Cavendish in the London 2012 road race on July 28.

"The Giro is one of my favourite races of the season and I'm very happy to be riding it," Cavendish said. "We've got a good squad to go and win stages. Geraint, Pete and Swifty have just come off the track so they should have that explosive power which will be important in the first week, and the rest of the team have all done well in the Classics.

"We want to win the team time-trial as well and hopefully that will get us the (leader's) pink jersey.

"If we could achieve that it would be a massive honour for the team.

"It should be a really good three weeks because we're all friends and have a good understanding on the road."

Also in the squad are Bernhard Eisel, Juan Antonio Flecha, Sergio Henao and Rigoberto Uran.

Eisel, who is set to support Cavendish throughout, and Flecha have ridden in 27 Grand Tours between them, while Colombian duo Henao and Uran will be aiming to impress in the mountains.

Cavendish is currently competing in the Tour de Romandie, which concludes on Sunday, alongside Bradley Wiggins.