Giro d'Italia "Top Rider" Press Conference: Mark Cavendish Interview
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Mark Cavendish spoke with the press during the Giro d'Italia "Top Rider" Press Conference on Thursday, May 2nd. Cavendish answered several questions, and his responses are provided below:
Is the Giro d'Italia a special race for you?
"Yes I love racing in Italy," Cavendish said. "It's just incredible to ride the Giro. It's one of maybe two races I insist on doing each year. I also have a place in Italy so it's kind of like my home tour."
Is your bigger focus the Red Jersey, or just winning stages at the Giro?
"My goal is to win at least a stage," Cavendish said. "Hopefully a jersey comes from that. The riders who go in to hunt for jerseys are more the attacking riders like Sagan. For me, I have to rely on winning stages to get jerseys."
Are you feeling any pressure to win stages?
"I'm not really feeling a lot of pressure as I've got a strong team with me," Cavendish said. "The stronger team you have, the less pressure. As for the first stage, which is flat, it's a nice circuit here in Napoli. The more laps there are, the more of a chance I have to look at it during the race. So I'm not putting too much stress on that, but obviously there is at least some pressure. There are not too many opportunities after the first stage on Saturday, maybe two or three for the sprinters, so we'll see how it goes. I will say that without a doubt, we can do a good job here at the Giro. I have confidence in my teammates and we will do our best."
Can you talk a bit about the first stage in Napoli?
"It''s quite straight forward and it's going to be a sprint," Cavendish said. "Of course there are a lot of corners and cobblestones that can make it a little more challenging, but I think it should be OK. I think the next days after Saturday will be the days that shake up the GC a little bit and will give the attacking guys some opportunities."
How special would it be for you to wear the Pink Jersey after the opening stage of the Giro?
"For sure it would be a dream to take the Pink jersey in the first stage," Cavendish said. "I've won the Pink Jersey twice before in my career. I'd love to do it again here in Napoli. It's a special race here, the Giro d'Italia, so I'd like to get it started in a good way. I know my teammates are as excited as I am about this opportunity, and we are all committed to fight for stage wins whenever possible."