Great Britain road race champion Mark Cavendish admitted being on top form for this summer’s Tour De France which begins in England was behind his decision to opt out of next month’s Giro D’Italia.
The 28-year-old, who competed at both the Beijing and London Olympics, won five stages and the red points jersey at the 2013 Giro D’Italia.
This year’s race starts in Belfast on May 9 but Cavendish has instead opted to use the tours of Turkey, California and Switzerland to get himself ready for the 21-stage Tour de France.
The cyclist has suffered from illness in recent weeks, pulling out of the Three Days of De Panne race, Gent-Wevelgem and Scheldeprijs races in Belgium.
And with the Grand Depart of this summer’s Tour De France taking place in Yorkshire before a further stage ending in London, Cavendish, winner of the points classification in 2011, insists the focus is on adding to his 25 stage wins.
“As everybody knows, my big goal this year is the Tour de France,” he said. “Especially as it starts in my native country. My programme is shaped for that moment.
“This year I will skip the Giro d'Italia. I'm saddened as it's a race that has given me great satisfaction in the past.
“I have great memories and victories, even last year. But, with the Tour de France as my main objective this year, we had to make some choices.
“I'm sure passing through the Tour of Turkey, and a great, well-organised race like Tour of California will get me in shape and ready for the Tour de Suisse, which will be my final tune-up for the Tour de France.”
© Sportsbeat 2014