All three Brits in the Team Dimension Data squad will be at the 2017 Tour de France, after 30-time stage winner Mark Cavendish, British road race and time trial champion Steve Cummings and Tour debutant Scott Thwaites were confirmed in their nine-man line-up.
Both Cavendish and Cummings were doubts for the Tour after lengthy lay-offs – Cavendish with glandular fever, and Cummings after crashing out of the Tour of the Basque Country – while Thwaites has never previously ridden the Tour.
But all three will be on the Dusseldorf startline, with Cummings airing his new British champion’s skinsuit for the opening stage time trial, as part of a Dimension Data team clearly set-up to hunt for stage wins.
Cavendish will be joined at the Tour de France by his full lead-out train, with chief lieutenant Mark Renshaw, South African champion Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, two-time stage winner Edvald Boasson Hagen and the huge engine of Bernie Eisel all selected.
Janse van Rensburg is one of two Africans in the nine-man team, alongside debutant Jaco Venter, though none of the team selected for the Giro d’Italia – including Eritrean duo Daniel Teklehaimanot and Natnael Berhane – will be doubling up.
Instead the team is completed by Cummings – who has won stages of the 2015 and 2016 races, and proved his form in some style at the National Championships – Thwaites, and Tour de Yorkshire winner Serge Pauwels.