Mark Cavendish will return to action on Tuesday at the two-day Giro della Toscana as the Briton is among eight riders selected by Dimension Data for the Italian race.
The opening stage of Giro della Toscana looks to be one for the fast riders but a breakaway could also prove successful on the slightly undulating route.
However, even if the sprinters end up fighting for the stage win on day one, they won’t have many chances in the general classification with a mountain top finish awaiting on stage two. The last 8.8 km of this final stage are uphill, giving the climbers the opportunity to go for both stage and overall glory.
Mark Cavendish and South African neo-pro Ryan Gibbons will be the key riders for Dimension Data on stage 1, while riders like Igor Antón, Steve Cummings and Jacques Janse van Rensburg have a chance to shine on the uphill finish.
“It will be good to race near our European training base in Lucca. We bring a very experienced team to this race. Looking at our lineup, there is a lot of different strength. We will definitely be watched by the other teams”, said sports director Oli Cookson.
“I’m really looking forward to Giro della Toscana. Many riders in the team live close to this area so it’s almost like a home town race. Personally, I’m feeling much better after my crash last week, though I’m not quite sure how I will fare here. Hopefully, I haven’t lost too much shape and can play my part”, added Ryan Gibbons.