Mark Cavendish will race this year’s Tour of Britain, bidding to add to his ten stage wins in the race and exact some revenge over Tour de France rival Andre Greipel.
With Greipel already confirmed to race for Lotto-Soudal, Cavendish will ride for Etixx-QuickStep when the race rolls out of Beaumaris on Sunday September 6.
Former cyclo-cross world champion turned Classics ace Zdenek Stybar will also line up for the Belgian super team on the North Welsh start line, and Cavendish is hoping the course will serve as good preparation for the World Championships.
“I’m excited to ride the Tour of Britain,” he said. “It’s my home tour and it’s always something special to ride in front of your national crowd. It’s already my eighth time at the race and year-by-year I can see how cycling is growing in this nation.
“We are at the start to try to be successful as we were last year. We have a strong team and we are ready to race. This year the course is extremely difficult. It will be also a good final preparation for the UCI World Championships in Richmond.”
The race will see Greipel and Cavendish go wheel-to-wheel again, after the German bagged four Tour de France stage wins to Cavendish’s one.
Stybar is a Tour of Britain debutant, meanwhile, but will race on the back of a Tour de France stage win and Strade Bianche success already this season.
“I’m pretty curious about it,” he said. “My teammates told me that it’s a tough race, without a metre of flat road, designed in great scenarios.
“It will be even more difficult because the teams are formed by only six riders, so it’s not easy to control the race.
“The atmosphere will be great, I’m sure. I have never raced on the road in United Kingdom, but I remember the great images of the Olympics and the Grand Depart of the Tour de France last year.
“It will be nice to be part of this race. As for my condition, I think I’m okay and I’m looking forward to participate in the race.”
Former winners Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka), Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team WIGGINS) and defending champion Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin) have also confirmed their participation already.
The full six-rider rosters for every team will be announced over the coming days.
Etixx Quick-Step will announce their full six-rider roster for the Aviva Tour of Britain in the coming days.