Cavendish in the 11th stage of 2009's Giro between Turin and Arenzano
Britain's Mark Cavendish will miss May's Giro d'Italia in favour of racing in the Tour of California to prepare for the Tour de France.
The HTC-Columbia sprinter, who won four stages in last year's Giro, has had the start of his season hampered by an infection after dental work.
And a week-long race in America should be far less tiring for Cavendish than three weeks pedalling around Italy.
Cavendish won six stages on last year's Tour de France and has won 10 in total.
However, he has endured a frustrating start to 2010, with his pre-season preparations affected by his infected tooth.
Cavendish also crashed in the Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy and then failed to defend the Milan-San Remo classic title he won in 2009 after a succession of mishaps.
Things looked to be improving with his first win of the season on stage two of the Tour of Catalunya earlier in March, but he was forced to abandon the race on stage five through illness.
However, Columbia manager Bob Stapleton said: "Mark will be strong at the Tour de France and the balance of the season.
"He will join the team in California and we are optimistic about his chances for success there."
The Tour of California runs 16-23 May, while the Giro takes place from 8-30 May. The 2010 Tour de France begins on 3 July in Rotterdam and finishes in Paris on 25 July.