Mark Cavendish will not defend Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne title

Mark Cavendish will not defend his Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne title on 28 February as his Dimension Data outfit were not named among the 25 teams for the race

Mark Cavendish on the podium after winning the 2015 Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne
(Image credit: Watson)

Mark Cavendish will not defend his Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne title as his new team Dimension Data - for whom he registered his first win in Qatar on Monday - were not named among the 25 teams competing.

Team Sky's Ian Stannard, however, will be on the start line at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on 27 February aiming for a third consecutive victory at the race after his tactical masterclass to win last year.

Tinkoff's Peter Sagan is already confirmed for both events, competing for the first time since 2010 and becoming the first world champion to race in either since Cavendish won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in 2012.

The presence of Katusha on the start line is still uncertain, with a decision on their ban for doping violations expected some time on Tuesday.

They face a ban of between 15 and 45 days following the recent positive test of Eduard Vorganov. Any ban longer than the minimum of 15 days would mean they would not be at either Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne or Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Katusha's Alexander Kristoff, who won the Tour of Flanders and Scheldeprijs last year, will likely ride in both events if Katusha are not banned from competing.

World Tour teams entered in both races include AG2R La Mondiale, BMC Racing Team, Etixx-Quick Step, IAM Cycling, Lotto-Soudal, Orica-GreenEdge, Giant-Alpecin, Katusha, LottoNL-Jumbo, Tinkoff, and Trek-Segafredo.

Professional Continental teams at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad include Bora-Argon 18, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Direct Energie, Roompot Oranje Peloton, Southeast Venezuela, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Fortuneo-Vital Concept, ONE Pro Cycling, Stölting Service Group, Cofidis and Nippo-Vini Fantini.

At Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Team 3M and Crelan-Vastgoedservice will take the place of Stölting and CCC Sprandi Polkowice.

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