By Nick Bull
Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish will both ride this year's Tour of Britain (September 9-16), race organiser SweetSpot confirmed today.
Wiggins will be the first Tour de France winner to compete in the race, while Cavendish will don the world champion's rainbow jersey for the final time in the event.
With interest in cycling in Britain at unprecedented levels, the confirmation of their participation is likely to draw huge crowds out for this year's race.
Cavendish was the big attraction in 2011, and the Manxman won two stages (in Dumfries and London) as part of his build-up for the World Championships. Wiggins last competed in the race in 2010.
Race Director Mick Bennett said: "To have the reigning Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion, and the current world champion competing in The Tour of Britain is a dream for us. That both riders are British and such great champions means that there is now a unprecedented interest in the event.
"We are delighted that The Tour of Britain will be the first chance for many British fans to see Bradley Wiggins since his Tour de France and Olympic successes. We are also very pleased that Mark Cavendish to the race again so he can ‘show-off' the rainbow stripes in front of home fans. What Mark did for the race last year following the cancellation of stage two meant a great deal to us, so he will always be welcome as a fantastic ambassador for The Tour."
Completing Sky's line-up are Bernie Eisel, Christian Knees, Thomas Lofkvist and Brit Jeremy Hunt.