NAPLES, Italy (AP) — It’s rare when a regular sprint stage opens a Grand Tour, and British standout Mark Cavendish wants to take advantage of the opportunity when the Giro d’Italia starts Saturday.
The first stage is an 81-mile leg that will follow a circuit in downtown Naples.
Cavendish has won 10 stages in the Giro and worn the leader’s pink jersey twice, including when his former team Columbia won the opening team time trial in 2009. But taking the lead with an individual win would be different.
The last time there was a sprint in Naples came in 1996, when Mario Cipollini won before 200,000 fans.
Other contenders include Matthew Goss of Australia, John Degenkolb of Germany and Italian trio Daniele Bennati, Manuel Belletti and Sacha Modolo.