Cavendish heads up star-studded line-up for nationals

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) could return to racing at the British Road National Championships on the Isle of Man, having been a doubt for the Tour de France after being diagnosed with glandular fever in April.

The Manxman is one of a number of high-profile riders to have been named as taking part by British Cycling, alongside the likes of Lizzie Deignan, Ian Stannard, and Alex Dowsett.

Dimension Data team staff had been unwilling to put a timeline on Cavendish’s recovery from his illness, with sports director Rolf Aldag saying in early May that there was not a date set for his return.

Aldag suggested that Cavendish could ride the Tour de Slovénie (June 15-18) as preparation for the Tour de France like he did in 2016, just a few days before the National Championships.

Also set to ride in the men’s road race on June 25 are defending champion Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport), Alex Dowsett (Movistar) and a six-strong Team Sky contingent in Jonathan Dibben, Owain Doull, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Tao Geoghegan Hart, and Cavendish’s fellow Manxman Peter Kennaugh.

>>> Routes for the 2017 British Road National Championships revealed

The time trial will see Dowsett going for a sixth British title on June 22, while Hayley Simmonds (Team WNT) and Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) will return to defend their respective time trial and road race national titles, joined by the likes of Lizzie Deignan (Boels-Dolmans), Elinor Barker (Matrix Pro Cycling) and Katie Archibald (Team WNT).

Both of the time trial events will take place on June 22, with the men tackling two laps and the women and under 23s one lap of a 22.2km circuit starting and finishing in St John’s on the west of the island.

The road races will be held three days later on June 25 and will see the riders take on the famous Isle of Man TT circuit before finishing with circuits around Douglas.