Mark Cavendish will make his debut in Dimension Data colours at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race after competing for Great Britain at the Track World Cup in Hong Kong in January.
The Manxman, who joins Dimension Data from Etixx-Quick Step for next season, has not raced in Australia since the 2011 Tour Down Under.
Cavendish’s track commitments, in which he is still hoping to gain a place in the Team GB Olympic squad, in Hong Kong between January 15-17 would likely leave him a little under prepared for the Tour Down Under (January 17-24), with his road season instead starting on January 31.
“I am looking forward to starting the 2016 season in Victoria and racing for the first time with Team Dimension Data at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race,” said Cavendish.
“I’ve heard great things about the challenging Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race course and I’m especially excited to visit Geelong again – last time I was there was for the 2010 UCI Road World Championships.”
In 2015, Cavendish started his season at the Tour de San Luis – coming second to Fernando Gaviria on stages one and three before winning stage seven.
He could return to the Dubai Tour, which he won overall this year, which runs between February 3-6.
Cavendish becomes the third rider confirmed for the Great Ocean Road Race, joining home favourites Rohan Dennis (BMC) and Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge).