Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish will be pushing for his eleventh win of the season in the four-day Circuit Franco-Belge stage race, which starts on Thursday in the Belgian town of Mouscron.

The T-Mobile sprinter is one of four Britons taking part in mainland Europe?s last stage race of the season, along with team-mate Roger Hammond, Discovery Channel?s Steve Cummings and DFL?s Dan Lloyd.

Cavendish will face strong opposition in his bid to add to a string of victories which started with the Scheldeprijs this April. This weekend?s Zurich Championships Classic has been cancelled so the Franco-Belge has an unusually strong field.

13 ProTour teams out of a total field of 23 and sprinters of the calibre of Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto), Geert Steegmans (Quick Step), Jimmy Casper (, Jean-Patrick Nazon (Ag2R) and Allan Davis (Discovery Channel) are all taking part.

With no time trial, it is not unusual for a sprinter to take the overall win in Franco-Belge - Robbie McEwen did just that in 2002. However, with World Time Trial Champion Fabian Cancellara (CSC) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) all taking part the sprinters teams may have a tough time keeping the race together.

One team which is not present is Astana. Race organiser Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke announced a month ago that the Kazakh team would not be welcome because of the doping affairs that rocked the squad this summer.


Stage 1 - October 4: Mouscron (Belgium) - Mouscron (Belgium) 177.3 km

Stage 2 - October 5: Maubeuge (France) - Templeuve (France) 204.8 km

Stage 3 - October 6: Bray-Dunes (France) - Poperinge (Belgium) 194.6 km

Stage 4 - October 7: Cuesmes (Belgium) - Tournai (Belgium) 162.1 km


Cavendish takes tenth win in Southampton

Cavendish wins Tour of Britain prologue

Cavendish wins Scheldeprijs


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