Former World Champion Mark Cavendish heads to South Africa for the first time to ride the Cape Town Cycle Tour on March 8

Mark Cavendish will join 35,000 other riders in South Africa on Sunday, March 8 as he participates in the Cape Town Cycle Tour for the first time.

The event, which attracts amateurs, film stars and professional cyclists, also sees Cavendish’s lead-out man Mark Renshaw in attendance.

“I’ve never been to South Africa before,” says Cavendish. “I’ve heard great things about the Cycle Tour and I’m excited about the trip. I’ve heard from a few riders who have been there before that it’s a lovely place, and a beautiful event to race. To ride with 35,000 people, that’s not something I’ve ever done in a bike race before. But I’m looking forward to it.

Cavendish and five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx will also be the guests of honour at an auction in support of former South Africa rugby captain Francois Pienaar’s MAD CHARITY on March 6.

Cavendish added: “Klein Costantia is a new sponsor of the team this year, and I want to do them and Mr. Bakala proud by going and showing my support. Also, I am happy to be associated with the charity actions they will sponsor.”

Yesterday Cavendish launched his own sportive around the city of Chester and North Wales, which will take place on August 9.