Having missed out on a chance to compete on the Champs-Elysees at the Tour de France, Mark Cavendish will spend Sunday (July 29) competing in the RideLondon-Surrey Classic instead.
Due to the Tour de France starting a week later this year, in order to avoid a clash between the Alpine stages and the FIFA World Cup, RideLondon takes place on the same day as the final stage of the Tour.
But after Cavendish missed the time cut on stage 11 of this year’s race – one of several sprinters to depart in the mountains – he will now line up with Dimension Data in London.
The Manxman is one of two Brits selected for the African team, alongside fit-again Scott Thwaites.
The clash with the Tour de France means defending champion Alexander Kristoff is missing, but there are still plenty of big-name sprinters bidding for victory on the Mall.
Elia Viviani (QuickStep Floors) leads the way, while Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) will have a point to prove after his surprise omission from his team’s Tour squad.
Last year’s Tour de France green jersey winner Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) – who quit this year’s Tour due to illness in the first week – also returns to action.
Irish sprinter Sam Bennett was set to reprise his rivalry with Viviani, having gone wheel-to-wheel with the Italian at the Giro d’Italia this year, but he no longer features in a Bora-hansgrohe line-up that does include Pete Kennaugh.
British sprinters Dan McLay (EF-Drapac), Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates) and Chris Lawless (Team Sky) will also race.
The last Brit to win RideLondon was Adam Blythe, riding for NFTO in 2014, while other former winners include Tom Boonen in a bunch gallop in 2016.
This year’s race will cover 187km and, as ever, includes the climbs of Leith Hill and Box Hill before heading back to the capital for an anticipated sprint showdown on the Mall.