Contador, who won the general classification in 2008 but had his 2011 title stripped due to a doping offence, is suspended until August as a result and will miss this year’s ride from Herning to Milan.
But the 29-year-old expressed to Eurosport his doubts over Cavendish winning the points classification in an exclusive interview, feeling the Manx rider’s focus on the Tour de France and London 2012 will put him at a disadvantage in a very strong field.
“There are always newcomers in sprints,” he explained. “I don't know if it's matter of being young and they have more courage when approaching in the sprints.”
“But you have to consider that in the Giro d'Italia there are the best sprinters in the world, at the maximum of their motivation and a sprint win on the Giro d'Italia is of maximum importance.
“It's true that when Mark Cavendish has such a powerful and dedicated team at his disposal and when he's in top conditions, it's really hard to beat him.
“If Mark is thinking on the Tour and on the Olympics afterwards, as it's the case, I think he will not finish the Giro.”
Despite his absence, Contador remains extremely fond of the Italian event and the treatment he has received over the years from the locals.
“For me Giro d'Italia is something really special,” he said.
“I got to know it in 2008 when I came on at very short notice and I didn't have the most adapted preparation for it, yet Italy welcomed me in an unbelievable way, to the point that I had the impression I was racing in Spain.
He continued: “The great memory I had from my first experience meant that I went back last year with a lot of will and expectations and once again the way I was treated by the people was as good if not better.
“I think it's a race that has a special charm, I think it's the hardest one, especially last year’s edition.
“But for sure it has a magic attraction that other races don't have, the crowd and the fans are real experts in cycling and it's lived by the people in a very special way.”
“For me, the Giro d'Italia is the nicest race of them all.”