Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish will ride the Tour of Britain.
The Tour de France winner and Olympic time trial champion, and the world road race champion, will be part of the six-strong team sent by Britian’s only WorldTour squad, Team Sky, to the 1350km, eight stage race, which begins in Ipswich on Sunday September 9.
Race director, Mick Bennett, said the incluision of such accomplished riders was a ‘dream’ scenario for the race organisers.
“That both riders are British and such great champions means that there is now a unprecedented interest in the event,” he added.
Wiggins has won every stage race in which he has competed this year, barring the Volta ao Algarve, where he rode in support of teammate and eventual winner, Richie Porte, and the Volta a Catalunya, which he abandoned in heavy snow.
Cavendish began his season with two stage wins in the Tour of Qatar, before taking victory in the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne semi-Classic, and three stage wins each in the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.
The pair will be backed by Bernhard Eisel, two-time British road race champion, Jeremy Hunt, Christian Knees and Thomas Löfkvist.
Six teams from cycling’s elite WorldTour are expected to take part, including Euskatel-Euskadi, which will be led by former Olympic road race champion, and winner of this year’s Tour of the Basque Country, Samuel Sanchez.
The cream of the domestic circuit will also be represented in the form of Endura Racing, Rapha Condor Sharp, Team IG-Sigma Sport, Team UK Youth, and Raleigh-GAC.
But Wiggins, Cavendish and Team Sky look set to be the stars of the show.
“We are delighted that The Tour of Britain will be the first chance for many British fans to see Bradley Wiggins since his Tour de France and Olympic successes. We are also very pleased that Mark Cavendish to the race again so he can ‘show-off’ the rainbow stripes in front of home fans,” said Bennett.
Cavendish won two stages of last year’s Tour of Britain, in which the second stage was cancelled due to bad weather.
Bennett added: “What Mark did for the race last year following the cancellation of Stage Two meant a great deal to us, so he will always be welcome as a fantastic ambassador for The Tour.”