Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) and David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) top the list of Britons set to race this year’s Giro d’Italia (May 7-29).
Adam Blythe (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Peter Kennaugh (Sky) and Russell Downing (Sky) are also included on the list of pre-entered riders.
At the age of 32, Downing will be competing in his first Grand Tour. Kennaugh was drafted in as a late replacement for Serge Pauwels in Sky’s Giro line-up.
The Giro starts with a team time trial around Turin on May 7. The route includes mountain-top finishes on Mount Etna, the Zoncolan, Gardeccia, the Grossglockner, as well as an ascent of the gravelled Colle delle Finestre
The favourites for this year’s race include Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard), Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas), Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) and Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC).
As anticipated, last year’s winner Ivan Basso is not planning to ride, as he prepares the Tour de France in July.
The full provisional list of teams and riders can be seen here: Giro d’Italia 2011 start list