Mark Cavendish and Steve Cummings will line up at the Tour of Britain when the eight day race kicks off in Glasgow on Saturday.
The British pair will be amongst the Team Dimension Data roster, alongside Mark Renshaw, Julien Vermote, Bernie Eisel and Danilo Wyss.
>> Get an extra 5% off the discounted price of a magazine subscription this weekend with the code SPOOKY5. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
The South African team’s squad includes three stage winners, in Renshaw, Vermonte and Cavendish – who has 10 victories at the home race to his name.
Cavendish has had a difficult few years, culminating in his non-selection for the Tour de France this year, leaving him ‘heartbroken’.
Since then, he has raced the Adriatica Ionica, finishing 105th on stage one and DNFing stage two, then managing sixth on stage three of the Tour de Pologne and DNFing stage four of the Deutschland Tour, with 74th on stage three his best result.
With rumours of a move to Bahrain-Merida circulating, it’s possible that this will be one of Cavendish’s last races in the Dimension Data colours.
Speaking ahead of the weekend’s Glasgow departure, he said: “September always has me looking forward to the OVO Energy Tour of Britain. Having witnessed first-hand the rise of cycling in Great Britain, racing in front of a home crowd holds a special importance to me on a very personal level.
“What makes the 2019 edition especially significant is the finish in Manchester. I remember as an amateur watching the finish there in 2004, the first edition of the race in its current format, and so I’m really looking forward to now racing in what is such an important city for British cycling 15 years on.”
Cummings, 38, won the 2016 edition of the race, and has twice been a runner-up. Stage five on Wednesday September 11 will take him back to home soil, when the parcours begin and finishes in Birkenhead Park.
“Birkenhead Park is a special place for me because I did my first race there when I was 13. To have the opportunity to go back there 25 years on to start a professional race will no doubt be very special to me. I hope to have family, friends and club mates who have always supported me there on the day,” he said.
The race will be one of the last for Renshaw, who is set to retire at the end of the year. His stage wins came in 2011 and 2014.
Vermote won in 2014, soloing to victory on Brighton’s Madeira Drive after breaking free on the testing Ditchling Beacon climb.
The OVO Energy sponsored race will be broadcast live in ITV4 each day, with highlights from 8 to 9pm each evening.