Manx cycling star Mark Cavendish is in Italy for his last road race before teaming up with Bradley Wiggins to ride the Madison at the World Track Championships at the Manchester Velodrome.
He's competing in the seven day Tirreno-Adriatico which opens today north of Rome with a 160 Km stage expected to produce a bunch sprint finish.
Cavendish is numbered amongst the top sprinters in the peleton alongside Tom Boonen and Alessandro Petacchi.
He has just completed the Tour of West Flanders in Belgium over the weekend where he recorded a fourth and fifth place in the three stages.
There is talk of Cav taking Chris Newton's place in the Points Race at the World Track Championships after he suffered a crash in training.