The Manxman says Etixx-Quick Step are unlikely to work to control each stage

Mark Cavendish believes that this year’s Tour of Britain could be a happy hunting ground for breakaways.

The Manxman, who holds the record for most number of wins in the modern incarnation of the race with 10, headlines a strong Etixx-Quick Step squad in the national tour which starts in Anglesey tomorrow. Etixx attempted and failed to control the race last year to boost Michal Kwiatkowski‘s GC hopes, something that Cavendish feels may lead to escape groups staying away during this year’s race.

“We tried to control it last year and we exploded right near the end,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll try and do that again this year.

“There may be other teams trying to do it, but it’s very difficult with the hills and the six-man teams.

“I think there’s going to be a break go to the end most days actually. It will be nice racing — it’s always nice to see the crowds out here in Great Britain. I just enjoy that more than anything.”


Watch Cycling Weekly’s Tour of Britain: Riders To Watch video


Nonetheless, Etixx have options if stages end with group finishes: Mark Renshaw returns to the race after winning a sprint in Llandudno 12 months ago, while Columbian Fernando Gaviria will make his debut in the event.

Cavendish added: “We’ve got a strong team here. Obviously I’d sprint normally, but Fernando is here. He beat me twice at the beginning of the year. He’s pretty’s handy, he’s going well, and he can climb good as well, so maybe we’ll go for him for a couple of days.”