Cavendish is the stand-out name in the eight-strong Dimension Data squad, with the same riders contesting the Kampionschap van Vlaanderen on Friday, the Primus Classic on Saturday, and the GP d’Isbergues on Sunday.
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With all three races expected to finish in sprints (although the Primus Classic having a lumpier parcours), Cavendish is joined by lead-out men Bernie Eisel, Mark Renshaw, and Reinhardt Janse Van Rensburg, with the squad completed by Ryan Gibbons, Johann van Zyl, Nic Dougall and Adrien Niyonshuti.
“We have three nice but tough races coming up this weekend,” said sports director Jean-Pierre Heynderickx. “Sprints may have decided these races in the past but you will notice it’s never the complete peloton at the line so tactically we must be good.
“For sure everyone will look to Cavendish as a threat but I think we have numerous options with guys like Janse van Rensburg, Gibbons and Renshaw too, so that puts us in a good position to have such a strong team.”
After crashing out of the Tour de France in July, Cavendish is still on his way back to full fitness, and raced the Tour of Britain largely as a lead-out man for Edvald Boasson Hagen, who finished second overall.
With relatively few flat races remaining in the UCI calendar for 2017, Cavendish’s schedule for the rest of the season remains to be be decided, although Paris-Tours could be an option.