Cavendish hopes to follow up on Dimension Data success in 2017 race

Mark Cavendish is set to make his first appearance in the four-year history of the Tour de Yorkshire, with the Manxman adding the 2.1-level race to his 2018 calendar.

The route of the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire was announced on Tuesday, taking place between May 3-6 as it expands to four stages for the first time.

>>> Tour de Yorkshire 2018 route revelaed: maps and profiles of every stage

Cavendish’s last appearance on Yorkshire roads came at the 2014 Tour de France, when he crashed on the opening stage into Harrogate and was forced to abandon.

The Dimension Data rider will be hoping for better luck on stages one and three of next year’s Tour de Yorkshire, which feature flat finishes in Doncaster and Scarborough which should give Cavendish a chance of victory.

Attending the launch of the 2018 race in Halifax, Cavendish said that he had been inspired by he performances of his team-mates in the 2017 event – won by Belgian rider Serge Pauwels – and fully intended to race in 2018.

“I would have been here this year but I was at home watching with glandular fever,” the Manxman said, as reported by Sky Sports.

“It was incredible to see our guys win on the final stage and Lizzie [Deignan] smash it in to Harrogate. I wanted to be there.

“Hopefully I don’t get get glandular fever again and I’ll try to be on the start line in Yorkshire. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t intend to race.”

>>> Peter Sagan and UCI end legal dispute over Tour de France crash adn disqualification

The Tour de Yorkshire is likely to be a part of Cavendish’s preparation for the 2018 Tour de France, with the 32-year-old likely to follow this home race with the Tour of California and the Tour de Suisse, if he follows the same pattern as in previous years.

As well as announcing the route of the men’s race, the Women’s Tour de Yorkshire route was also announced on Tuesday, expanding to two stages for the 2018 edition.

The race will take place on the same day and similar roads to the opening two stages of the men’s race, meaning that the winner will be crowned on the uphill finish in Ilkley on May 4.