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Mark Cavendish to continue racing return at Tour de Yorkshire

Joe Robinson
26 Apr 2019

Manxman looking to carry Tour of Turkey form into home race

Mark Cavendish will resume his steady return to racing at the Tour de Yorkshire next week as he continues his recovery from an illness that has plagued him since early 2017.

The Manxman will headline the Dimension Data team at the four-day stage race in Yorkshire alongside leadout men Mark Renshaw and Bernie Eisel.

Completing the team will be young talents Nic Dlamini and Rasmus Tiller alongside experienced puncheur Tom-Jelte Slagter.

Since battling with Epstein-Barr virus in early 2017, Cavendish has been in a long-fought battle to return to racing at the highest level.

Within that time, the Manxman has taken prolonged breaks from riding and has reduced his training schedules in order to return to full health.

The 33-year-old started his season in January at the Vuelta a San Juan, Argentina, as a reintroduction to racing before then completing the UAE Tour in late February. The sprinter then abandoned Paris-Nice in March before returning to the Tour of Turkey this month.

In Turkey, Cavendish registered a third-place finish on Stage 3, his best result since Stage 5 of the Adriatica Ionica Race last June.

This glimpse of Cavendish's former self was a pleasing sign for the rider and his team and the 48-time Grand Tour stage winner is hoping that form can be carried over to a race he holds so close to his heart. 

'I’m really excited to heading back to the Tour de Yorkshire along with my Dimension Data for Qhubeka teammates to race in one of the most beautiful places in the world,' said Cavendish.

'I really enjoyed the tough but beautiful parcours last year as I rode the race for the first time, and look forward to seeing what’s in store for us in the 2019.

'Over and above the racing though, it always blows my mind to see the incredible support of the fans. With my family from Yorkshire, it makes it so special and I can’t wait to see them all again.'

Ultimately, all of these efforts will be in a bid to be fighting fit for the Tour de France in July. If Cavendish adds five more wins to his total of 30 stage victories he will overtake Eddy Merckx's long-standing record.

It is a long way off yet but tough races such as the Tour de Yorkshire will help towards refining form.

The 2019 Tour de Yorkshire gets going next Thursday with Stage 1 from Doncaster to Selby. Particular attention will be paid to Stage 2 from Barnsley to Beadle. Halfway through the peloton will detour to the city of Harrogate, tackling the finishing circuit of this year's World Championships.