Mark Cavendish has been selected by the Isle of Man to lead its road cycling team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. However, 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Peter Kennaugh is a surprise absence from the list.
Cavendish will join fellow Manx riders Sam Brand, Anna Christian, Nathan Draper, Lizzie Holden, Jake Kelly, Leon Mazzone and Tom Mazzone in contesting the road cycling disciplines in Australia in April, with Matthew Bostock and Matthew Draper riding on the track.
Cavendish had previously said that he may not take part in the event due to a clash of dates with spring road races.
IOM team manager Trevor Taubman told the BBC that Kennaugh could still ride in the Games, but that it was down to his new Bora-Hansgrohe team to release him for the event.
“There is still a chance Peter (Kennaugh) will be included, but it depends on the decision of his new team – who he joined last year,” said Taubman.
Both Cavendish and Kennaugh have previously said that riding for the IOM at the Games is a great honour – the Commonwealth Games is the highest-level event for which athletes can represent the Isle of Man.
Cavendish won the Commonwealth Games scratch race in Melbourne 2006, and Kennaugh took IOM’s only medal in the Glasgow Games in 2014, claiming silver in the points race on the track.
The 2018 road race route is relatively flat and is widely tipped to finish in a bunch sprint, which gives Cavendish a strong chance of coming away with a medal.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games take place on the Gold Coast, Australia, over April 4-15. The men’s and women’s road races take place on Saturday April 14, just six days after Paris-Roubaix (April 8), a race that Cavendish said he wants to ride in 2018.