Mark Cavendish says he's 'incredibly happy' to be led by Michael Mørkøv in this year's Giro d'Italia, adding the entire team is a good group, both on and off the bike.
Cavendish has appeared five times in the Giro, however he will be racing for the first time since 2013.
The 105th edition of the Italian Grand Tour starts in Budapest on Friday, with the route leading into Sicily.
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[On what he makes of Michael Mørkøv joining the team] "I'm incredibly happy, I love riding with [Michael Mørkøv]. It's not just Morky though, we have a strong team here with Bert [Van Lerberghe], with [Davide] Ballerini, [Josef] Černy and Mauro [Schmid], Mauri [Vansevenant] and [James Knox], I think it's a good group of eight guys to ride around Italy with, both on the bike and at the dinner table. And I'm very happy with this line-up, actually."
[On what leadership qualities Mørkøv brings] "It's nice to have people you trust [leading you]. And it's not just Michael, it's the guys ahead of him as well. And it makes his job easier when he has guys that he can follow as well. And like I said, I think I've got an incredible three guys ahead of me with Morky and Ballerini, like I think that's the biggest factor of confidence that I have, I know I have incredible guys I can trust in front of me."
[On the Grande Partenza being in Hungary] "It's always nice when you get a Grande Part or a Grande Partenza from a different country, and there's a build up. It's a country that usually has a Grand Tour, although they love it, it's quite normal to them. You know, I won't go as far as saying they take it for granted, but it's normal to have the race every year and an international start is always big for any race and especially for the country or territory that it's starting in and biggest, because no country will really bid for it unless they have a desire for cycling to be showcased. And anywhere that wants to showcase cycling is good by me."
[On whether he's looking forward to the Giro d'Italia] "Yeah, it's nice. Nine years ago was the last time I rode the Giro, I won the red jersey. I won the five stages, four stages. So I won some stages. And yeah, it's always a race that I've liked to do in the past. And obviously the dynamic might have changed in nine years and so it might not be the race I remember. I don't know. We'll see. But it's a race anyway."
[On whether his injury earlier in the season has made it harder to prepare] "Yeah, of course it is. And you know, because I was winning earlier, people tend to forget that I had a punctured lung in the end in November, you know, and I think of course it's hard. But I work hard, it doesn't come easy."
[On whether the points' jersey is on his mind] "The points' jersey has never been on my mind. I think I've said this for over a decade that the points' jersey comes from trying to be consistent and in getting results. If you start to target that as the type of rider that I am and you can maybe miss opportunities."
[On what he makes of the course] "The Giro always has some savage stages and I know that this year is no different, but it's the same for everybody, isn't it?"