Cavendish and Contador head to Curaçao race

Mark Cavendish, Tour of Missouri 2009, stage 2

Mark Cavendish, Alberto Contador and a host of the biggest stars in cycling will be in action at the Amstel Curacao Race in the Caribbean on Saturday (November 7).

The 73.6-kilometre race is held on the Dutch Antilles, an island off the coast of Venezuela.

It's a laid-back weekend in the sun for the riders, with a chance to relax on the beach, swim in the pool, and soak up the rays before the exhibition cycle race on Saturday afternoon.

British rider Cavendish, who won Milan-San Remo and six Tour de France stages, and Spain's Alberto Contador, the Tour champion, are the biggest draws.

Also riding will be Saxo Bank's Andy and Frank Schleck, Team Sky's new recruit Edvald Boasson Hagen, BMC-bound Karsten Kroon and Tour green jersey winner Thor Hushovd.

Gabriel Rasch, Kenny Van Hummel, Lars Boom, Koos Moerenhout, Jakob Fuglsang, Jonny Hoogerland and Jesus Hernandez are the other pros in the field.

Last year Andy Schleck beat Stijn Devolder to win. Contador won in 2007.

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Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.