Mark Cavendish will start his 2014 season at the Tour de San Luis after Omega Pharma-QuickStep announced a six-man line-up which also includes Tom Boonen and Alessandro Petacchi.
Cavendish claimed his first win in the Belgian team’s colours at the 2013 edition of the race and will return to Argentina as part of a star-studded line-up for the seven-stage race on January 20-26.
Boonen has also previously tasted success at the Tour de San Luis having won a stage in 2012, the year in which the Belgian went on to dominate the Classics with victories in Paris–Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, Gent–Wevelgem and E3 Harelbeke.
Petacchi, meanwhile, will be starting his first full season with Omega Pharma-QuickStep having come out of retirement in August to join the team midway through the 2013 campaign. Stijn Vandenbergh, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Gianluca Brambilla complete the line-up.
The team will target stage victories according to directeur sportif Davide Bramati, with three stages likely to end in a bunch sprint.
And Bramati revealed the squad will use the next team training camp in early January to fine-tune Cavendish’s leadout.
“We can’t deny we have a good team at the starting line,” said Bramati. “Cav, Tom, and Peta together have garnered more than 400 victories in the years of their careers, a truly incredible number that speaks volumes about the potential of the squad.
“Cav and Tom have also won in this race and they are familiar with its dynamics. In the stage for sprinters we will be called on to take the initiative. During our next retreat (January 6-14) we’re going to work more specifically with this group so we will be ready to take advantage of any chance that presents itself.”