They'll be joined in Team Dimension Data's line-up by Yorkshire's Scott Thwaites, making his debut in the race...

Mark Cavendish will start the Tour de France on Saturday after being named in a Team Dimension Data line-up that includes new British road and time trial champion Steve Cummings and Yorkshire's Scott Thwaites, who makes his debut in the race.

The three Britons will be joined by Edvald Boasson Hagen, Bernard Eisel, Serge Pauwels, Mark Renshaw, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Jaco Venter.

Both Cavendish and Cummings had been considered doubtful for the Tour de France.

Cavendish only returned to racing this month after suffering from glandular fever, while Cummings underwent an operation two months ago after sustaining multiple fractures at the Tour of the Basque Country, making his twin successes at the nationals even more remarkable.

As has been widely reported, it’s been a difficult few months for me on the back of the illness that set me back earlier on in the season," said Cavendish.

"Despite this setback and my lack of race time I’ve worked incredibly hard both to ensure I could firstly recover from the illness as well as then aiming to build my fitness up as much as possible in order to start the Tour. 

"If I am being totally honest, had this not been the Tour de France we may have collectively taken a different approach with regards to my inclusion but I feel that I owe it to myself, the team, our sponsors and most importantly to the Tour itself given its history and everything that it stands for - as well as the emotional attachment I have for it - to give it my best and to put everything I have in to trying to help the team. 

In addition, I also feel a great sense of pride to be supporting Qhubeka and our Bicycles Change Lives campaign, and am keen to raise as much awareness as possible for what is such an incredible cause at the Tour," he added.

Team Principal Douglas Ryder said: "This team was built on a dream and to be in our third Tour de France is so special as we chase more dreams with every single rider that will represent this team and what it stands for on July 1st.

"Our two debutants, Jaco and Scott, will have their eyes wide open as they experience the enormousness of The Tour de France and what a privilege to do that with the incredible experience of the rest of the team.

He added: "The hard work that has been put in by the riders and our team partners to be ready to represent Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka in this year’s event is truly incredible and shows their commitment to the sport of cycling and the impact they can make on others."

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.