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Mark Cavendish at the start of the Giro d’Italia 2023

Astana Qazaqstan Team rider Mark Cavendish answers the questions before the start of the Giro d’Italia 2023.

  1. Mark, are you considering the Giro d’Italia as a big goal itself or is it a planned part of the main preparation towards the Tour de France?

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.

  1. What do you feel about your preparation to the Giro d’Italia? How serious was it affected by some sickness you had during that period?

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. Missing days of training or racing is never ideal, but I’ll always try to make the most of where I’m at.

  1. It is going to be your first Grand Tour with Astana Qazaqstan Team. What do you feel about it? Do you think the team and you are ready for this new challenge?

I’m looking forward to my first Grand Tour with Astana Qazaqstan Team. 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. And, of course, a good mix of talent and experience to make the most and have fun racing.

  1. Despite not having a strong lead-out train, the team looks 100% ready to support you in all stages you might have a chance to sprint. Do you feel the confidence of the team ahead of the Giro?

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. 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.