Dimension Data sprinter back to winning ways after 2017 season plagued by illness and injury

Mark Cavendish has taken his first victory in almost a year at today's Stage 3 of the Dubai Tour.

The 32-year-old' Dimension Data riders last victory also came in the Gulf, when he won the opening stage of last year's Abu Dhabi Tour on 23 February last year.

His season was then disrupted first by glandular fever, then by the broken shoulder he sustained in a crash involving Peter Sagan at the Tour de France, and incident that saw Bora-Hansgrohe's world champion thrown out of the race for dangerous riding.

Following today's stage, Cavendish said: "I'm just a bit angry that I sat up yesterday," referring to his fourth-place finish to Quick Step Floors rider Elia Viviani, who retains the race lead.

"Technically I could have had the leader's jersey," Cavendish continued. "I apologise to my teammates for that. They did a great job today, Bernie (Eisel), (Mark) Renshaw, and I finished the job in the last 3 kilometres.

I still feel the consequences of my Tour de France crash in my body. It will remain for the rest of my life.

"Quick-Step, Cofidis and LottoNL-Jumbo all look good," he added. "There are so many good teams for sprinting here.

"I'm nowhere near the form I had in July but I'm happy with my form now."

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.