Mark Cavendish has been confirmed to take the start line at the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire.
The Manxman is still on the road to regaining the form which saw him win 30 Tour de France stages, four fewer than record holder Eddy Merckx, after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus in 2017, that forced him to stop racing and training after the 2018 Tour de France.
Cavendish’s mother lives in Harrogate, and he said of his return to Yorkshire: “I’m really excited to heading back to the Tour de Yorkshire along with my Dimension Data for Qhubeka team-mates to race in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
“I really enjoyed the tough but beautiful parcours last year as I rode the race for the first time, and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for us in the 2019 edition.
“Over and above the racing though, it always blows my mind to see the incredible support of the fans. With some of my family in Yorkshire, it makes it so special and I can’t wait to see them all again.”
The former road race world champion has not had an ideal start to the season, having missed Milan-San Remo and Scheldeprijs which he had planned to race in.
Cavendish, who regularly updates fans via his social media accounts, tweeted for the first time in nearly two months yesterday, posting a cryptic message that read: “Guess it’s time to get back on social media! Sorry it’s been a while everyone. Just needed to remember who I am. Thanks for staying with me. Love ya all x”.
The Tour de Yorkshire 2019 is bursting with British talent, as four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Sky), British national road race champion Connor Swift (Madison Genesis) and former road race world champion Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) are set to take the start.
Marcel Kittel, another talented sprinter who has seen his form wane lately, will also be racing, as he looks to get his season back on track.