Mark Cavendish will use this month’s National Elite Road Race Championships in Northumberland to fine-tune his Tour de France preparations.
Cavendish, who has 15 Tour de France stages wins to his name, will ride the hour-long Leazes Criterium on Friday June 24 before attempting to earn his first British road race champion’s jersey on Sunday June 26, six days before the 2011 Tour rolls out of Passage du Gois.
The 26-year-old rode last year’s nationals in Lancashire, when Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas outsprinted team-mate Peter Kennaugh to claim his first victory as a professional.
HTC-Highroad rider Cavendish has four victories to his name this season, claiming stage six of the Tour of Oman, before going on to win the Scheldeprijs and stages 10 and 12 of the Giro d’Italia.
The Leazes Criterium and the nationals take place on Northern Rock Cyclone weekend, which will see 5,000 sportive riders line-up for the Northern Rock Cyclone Challenge on Saturday 25 June.