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Mark Cavendish confirms Tour of Britain return as Suffolk gears up for Stage Six on Friday

PUBLISHED: 15:17 02 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:09 04 September 2017

Mark Cavendish. Picture: MARTIN RICKETT/PA WIRE

Mark Cavendish. Picture: MARTIN RICKETT/PA WIRE

PA Wire

Former world champion Mark Cavendish has confirmed he will take part in the OVO Energy 2017 Tour of Britain as organisers hail the best-ever line up for the premier road racing cycling event.

The Manxman, a 10-time stage winner at the event, will compete for the first time since he crashed out of the Tour de France in July. The 32-year-old sustained a broken shoulder blade during a sprint finish with Peter Sagan.

The Tour of Britain starts on starts in Edinburgh tomorrow (Sunday, September 3) and finishes in Cardiff on Sunday. September 10.

• Suffolk is holding Stage Six on Friday, September 8. Here is everything you need to know, including road closures.

Starting in Newmarket, some of the world’s best cyclists will travel through Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, and dozens of villages before finishing in Aldeburgh.

The race will feature 120 riders, split into 20 teams of six riders, including the current WorldTour’s top five ranked teams.

ITV4 will broadcast live television coverage of the race, with three hours of live coverage each day plus a one-hour highlights package.

The Suffolk stage, with a 183km distance and 1,228 metre climb, seen as one of the least undulating courses out of the eight stages, with the very real prospect of an exciting bunch sprint finish.

It is thought riders will battle it out for sprint points at Ixworth, Stradbrooke and Kesgrave, with a KOM (King of the Mountain) opportunity at Snape.

Stage winner Andre Greipel (red) sprints to the finish of stage seven of the Tour of Britain in Ipswich in 2015, the last time the Tour came to Suffolk. Picture: SIMON PARKERStage winner Andre Greipel (red) sprints to the finish of stage seven of the Tour of Britain in Ipswich in 2015, the last time the Tour came to Suffolk. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Cavendish will ride for Team Dimension Data, who are chasing a third consecutive Tour of Britain title without last year’s champion Steve Cummings, as he recovers from injury also sustained at the Tour de France. The team’s hopes will be pinned on Cavendish and Edvald Boasson Hagen, the 2009 and 2015 Tour of Britain champion.

Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, said: “I’m excited by the field for this year’s OVO Energy Tour of Britain and the stellar line-up of riders that we have here taking part in the Tour.

“I have never known such strength-in-depth from so many teams in the race, particularly Quick-Step Floors, Sky and Dimension Data to name but three.”

Recently-crowned European Road Race Champion Alexander Kristoff is one of six Olympic medallists in the field, while there are also five current National Road Race Champions down to start the OVO Energy Tour.

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