A year on from a disappointingly low four British riders starting the Tour de France, the 2015 edition will feature 10 riders from the United Kingdom
In July 2014, the Tour de France kicked off on Yorkshire soil with just four British riders among the 198 who crossed the starting line. Of those, only three crossed the finish line of the opening stage, while just one made it all the way to Paris three-weeks later.
Roll the clock forward 12 months and the tally of British riders has risen to 10, equalling the record set back in 1955.
Sky’s other Brits, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and Peter Kennaugh, have all earned their place based on recent performances – Kennaugh won the National Championships and a stage at the Criterium du Dauphiné, while Stannard and Rowe were in fine form in the early-season Classics.
Cavendish is looking to overcome his disastrous 2014 Tour, where he crashed out of the race on the first stage to Harrogate. With 12 wins to his name already this season, and with with the absence of rival Marcel Kittel, Cavendish will be favourite to win many of the bunch sprints at the Tour.
Two of youngest riders in the race also hail from Britain, with the Yates (22) brothers being allowed to ride the Tour without any expecatations from their Orica-GreenEdge team.
Simon started the Tour aged just 21 last year, withdrawing on stage 16, while Adam will embark on his second Grand Tour, having completed the Vuelta a España last season.
Both riders have proved they can mix it with the best riders in the world in the past two seasons, with a host of top-10 overall finishes in week-long stage races between them.
But both are relatively green-eyed when the races go on longer than a week, with Orica keen for the pair to simply finish the race and any standout performances along the way would be an added bonus.
Like Orica, Tour wildcards MTN-Qhubeka have gone for a mix of youth and experience, with five African riders being joined by four Europeans with Grand Tour experience.
On the list is Steve Cummings, who has ridden the Tour for both Team Sky and BMC, helping Tejay van Garderen and Cadel Evans to fifth and seventh-place finishes in 2012 respectively.
The tenth Brit on the list has perhaps the most fairytale story of the lot. Alex Dowsett’s only goal at the start of the season was to break the UCI Hour Record in February, but a broken collarbone suffered on a training ride with Cavendish set his year back.
Returning to training, Dowsett smashed Rohan Dennis’s record in May, won his first stage race in Bayern-Rundfahrt a week later and has now been entrusted to deliver Nairo Quintana safely to the finish in yellow.
What’s more, Dowsett has a strong chance of taking the race’s first yellow jersey, with the 13km time trial suiting his skillset to a tee.
It’s shaping up to be an exciting Tour for British fans, with stage wins, yellow jerseys, breakaways and overall victory all strong possibilities in July.
Cycling Weekly’s experts discuss the Tour de France Grand Depart in Utrecht