Treat for Norfolk fans as Mark Cavendish joins Tour of Britain
Norfolk cycling fans will see one of the sport's leading figures after it was confirmed that multiple Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish will lead his HTC Highroad team at The Tour of Britain.
The Tour begins this weekend in Scotland and heads into Norfolk in September 17.
Cavendish has been confirmed as a member of the HTC Highroad line-up, which also includes fellow members of his sprint team Bernhard Eisel and Mark Renshaw.
'As a team we have worked hard over the past fortnight to ensure that Mark Cavendish rides the Tour of Britain,' said race director Mick Bennett.
'We are very pleased that Mark has been given permission by the organisers of the Vuelta a Espana to start the Tour of Britain, and will be able to race in front of home crowds for potentially the final time before the 2012 London Olympics.
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'Mark's addition to the start list will ensure that the sprints are hotly contested. I am sure the spectacle of Mark, Thor Hushovd, Ben Swift and others going head-to-head at stage finishes will draw huge crowds to the roadside once more.'
Cavendish, who has won 20 stages of the Tour de France, last rode The Tour of Britain in 2007, when he won the opening two stages of the race.
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His HTC Highroad team have won the past two editions of Britain's biggest professional cycle race, with Edvald Boasson Hagen taking the honours in 2009, and Michael Albasini the winner 12 months ago.
This will be their final appearance in the Tour of Britain, following the announcement that the team will close at the end of the season.
Alongside the HTC Highroad line-up, SweetSpot Group, the organisers and promoters of The Tour of Britain are also pleased to reveal the final four provisional rosters for the race, from the official UCI Bulletins Endura Racing, Motorpoint Pro Cycling, Sigma Sport – Specialized and Team Raleigh.
Among the four British UCI Continental teams to announce their line-ups are several debutants, including Somerset based duo Marcin Bialoblocki and Will Bjergfelt, who will both be looking forward to racing through the county as part of the Motorpoint team during Stage Six.
The final Tour of Britain start list will be announced on Saturday evening.
Endura Racing: Jack Bauer (NZl), Iker Camano (Spa), Rene Mandri (Est), Paul Voss (Ger), Alex Wetherall (Swe), Ian Wilkinson (GBr). Reserves: Alexandre Blain (Fra), Rob Partridge (GBr), Scott Thwaites (GBr).
Motorpoint Pro Cycling: Ian Bibby (GBr), Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol), Will Bjergfelt (GBr), Tobyn Horton (GBr), Johnny McEvoy (GBr), Peter Williams (GBr). Reserve: James Sampson (GBr).
Sigma Sport - Specialized: Russell Hampton (GBr), Steve Lampier (GBr), Tom Last (GBr), Tom Murray (GBr), Simon Richardson (GBr), Wouter Sybrandy (Ned). Reserves: Stephen Adams (GBr), Tom Copeland (GBr), Kit Gilham (GBr).
Team HTC Highroad: Lars Bak (Den), Matt Brammeier (Irl), Mark Cavendish (GBr), Bernhard Eisel (Aut), Alex Rasmussen (Den), Mark Renshaw (Aus). Reserves: Matt Goss (Aus), Gatis Smukulis (Lat).
Team Raleigh: Dan Fleeman (GBr), Richard Handley (GBr), Liam Holohan (GBr), Jeroen Janssen (Ned), Gael Le Bellec (Fra), Jamie Sparling (Can). Reserves: Matt Cronshaw (GBr), Matt Kipling (GBr).