South Scotland

Mark Cavendish sprints into Tour of Britain

Mark Cavendish
Image caption Spectators on the Tour of Britain will get the chance to see Mark Cavendish in action

Multiple Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish will lead the HTC Highroad team in the Tour of Britain which starts in the Borders on Sunday.

He is the latest big name rider to confirm his participation in the week-long race.

Race director Mick Bennett said it would ensure the sprints in the event were "hotly contested".

The Tour of Britain begins in Peebles on Sunday before reaching a conclusion in London a week later.

Last week Geraint Thomas, the highest placed British rider in this year's general classification at the Tour de France, announced he would lead Team Sky in the race.

Cavendish has now been confirmed as a member of the HTC Highroad line-up, which also includes fellow members of his sprint team Bernhard Eisel and Mark Renshaw.

"As a team we have worked hard over the past fortnight to ensure that Mark Cavendish rides the Tour of Britain," said Mr Bennett.

"We are very pleased that Mark has been given permission by the organisers of the Vuelta a Espana to start the Tour of Britain, and will be able to race in front of home crowds for potentially the final time before the 2012 London Olympics.

"I am sure the spectacle of Mark, Thor Hushovd, Ben Swift and others going head-to-head at stage finishes will draw huge crowds to the roadside once more."

Cavendish, who has won 20 stages of the Tour de France, last rode the Tour of Britain in 2007, when he won the opening two stages of the race.

The first chance to see him and the rest of the field comes in the south of Scotland on Sunday.

The opening stage starts in Peebles and sweeps through the Borders before crossing into Dumfries and Galloway and the finish line in Dumfries.

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