Mark Cavendish will begin his 2024 campaign at the Tour Colombia stage race in South America next February.
In a brief video released on the Colombian cycling federation’s X account, Cavendish confirmed that he would take part and make his debut in the six day stage race.
“Hola amigos, I’m so excited to spend my first time in Colombia at the Tour of Colombia next year,” Cavendish said. “It’s one of Latin America’s biggest races, so come and see us, February 6th-11th in a country that’s produced some incredible bike riders.”
Cavendish is currently at the Astana Qazaqstan winter training camp in southern Spain. The 38-year-old was due to retire at the end of last season.
However, the Manxman confirmed in October that he would ride on for one more year with the aim of becoming the record holder for the most stage wins at the Tour de France. Cavendish is currently tied on 34 with Eddy Merckx.
Cavendish was on the cusp of taking the record this year although crashed out of the race on stage eight on the road to Limoges.
The Tour Colombia is making its return to the cycling calendar next year after an absence of four years. It will begin in the town of Paipa in Boyaca on 6 February before wrapping up in Bogotá several days later on 11 February.
Cavendish was recently joined at Astana by his former Quick-Step coach Vasilis Anastopoulos. The team also brought in Davide Ballerini and Michael Mørkøv to further boost Cavendish’s leadout train and increase their firepower ahead of the Tour next July.
Anastopoulos previously told Cycling Weekly magazine that Cavendish would undergo a training programme in 2024 which focused more on physical preparation as opposed to actual race days.
“My personal idea is that I have proposed to do some more altitude camps and less racing than this year,” he said.
Starting his season in Colombia marks a change in Cavendish’s usual preparations. The Manxman has often got his season underway in the Middle East. This year Cavendish rode the Muscat Classic in Oman prior to taking part in the Tour of Oman before racing the UAE Tour.
@MarkCavendish nos confirma su participación y la del @AstanaQazTeam en el #TourColombia2024¡Welcome to Colombia Mark, nos vemos pronto! 😎🚴♂️🏆 pic.twitter.com/aElnMeA8W2December 14, 2023
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