[T]our of Britain organisers have announced the first top riders for this year’s Tour of Britain, with Britain’s record Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish leading the way, alongside fellow top sprinter André Greipel and former UCI World Hour Record holder Rohan Dennis.
Cavendish, who has 30 stage victories in the Tour de France, won his first Olympic medal on Tuesday evening, taking Silver in the Omnium track event, and will be targeting the World Road Race Championships in Qatar in October. The Tour of Britain will be his first race post-Olympics.
The Manxman, who also has 10 stage wins to his name in Britain’s biggest professional cycle race, has been confirmed as a part of the Team Dimension Data provisional roster alongside Steve Cummings, who won Stage Seven of the Tour de France this Summer, and is twice a runner-up in the Tour of Britain (2008 and 2011).
In the sprints Cavendish will face four-time Tour of Britain stage winner André Greipel, who won a hat trick of stages in 2010, and took victory during the 2015 Tour in Ipswich. The German, who rides for Lotto Soudal, won his 11th Tour de France stage this Summer with the win on the final stage into Paris.
Making his debut in the Tour of Britain will be former UCI World Hour Record holder Rohan Dennis, who won the opening stage time trial of the 2015 Tour de France. He will head the BMC Racing Team line-up alongside Taylor Phinney, a World Champion on both the road and track, who raced in the Tour of Britain last September.
Dennis and Phinney’s presence in the Tour of Britain means both the Australian and USA National Time Trial champions’ jerseys will be on display in Bristol for the Stage 7a Time Trial on Saturday 10 September.
They will be joined in the provisional BMC Racing Team line-up by Rick Zabel, the son of legendary Tour de France Green Jersey winner Erik, who is returning for his third consecutive Tour of Britain.
Further announcements of provisional rider line-ups will follow next week ahead of the publication of the full provisional rider list for the Tour of Britain.
Commenting on the announcement, Tour of Britain Race Director Mick Bennett said: “In Mark Cavendish and André Greipel we have two of the world’s top sprinters, who are both already multiple Tour of Britain stage winners, while we are delighted that BMC Racing Team will be bringing two outstanding time trialists in Rohan Dennis and Taylor Phinney to the race.
“This is the first of several exciting rider announcements that fans can look forward to and will build excitement for what will be another world-class edition of the Tour of Britain.”
Three-hours of live coverage will be broadcast from each stage of the Tour of Britain, with both ITV4 and the BIKE Channel UK showing the race live, while ITV4 will also air a one-hour highlights programme each day.
The Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event giving cycling fans the opportunity to see the world’s best teams and riders competing on their door step.