Team Dimension Data have announced their Tour de France team via a special video featuring Qhubeka beneficiaries in Soweto, South Africa. Mark Cavendish will start the race for the 12th time, looking to add to his 30 stage victories. However, his fellow Briton, Steve Cummings – who has won stages in the last two Tours – has not been selected.
Earlier this season, Cavendish crashed out of both the Abu Dhabi Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico before another horrific crash at Milan-San Remo when he hit a large bollard.
He sustained a fractured rib and an ankle injury and only returned to racing in May at the Tour de Yorkshire.
He described the race as “a shock to the system,” having had so little racing this year. “I thought I’d be a bit better than I am,” he said.
Since then, Cavendish has raced the Tour of California, the Tour of Slovenia and the inaugural Adriatica Ionica Race in Italy, where he achieved his best result since his return – a second place on Stage 5 behind Elia Viviani.
“The Tour de France is not only the biggest cycling event on the planet but it’s one of the biggest sporting events on the planet; and it’s the best platform to get across what we as Team Dimension Data do for our charity Qhubeka, to get people in rural parts of Africa on bicycles,” he said.
“I’m excited to be part of a strong team and I’ll be looking at getting closer to that record (34) of Eddie Merckx.”
Cummings’ omission is not entirely unexpected. Speaking to Cycling News earlier this month, the rider himself admitted that he’d not performed all year and said he’d been particularly down after abandoning the Tour de Romandie due to allergies.
“I didn’t enjoy spring at all,” he said. “After Romandie, I really didn’t enjoy that next week. I spent a lot of time thinking about life after cycling and what I would do next. I’m still thinking and I need to have a plan but now I feel a lot better.
“I’ve put things in perspective because sometimes you can get caught up in the cycling bubble. I know I can’t go on forever and this has been the first time I’ve really thought about what I want to do after cycling, and at the same time, that’s given me an appreciation for what I want to do now.
“I’ve asked myself if I still really want to do this and the answer has been yes. I want to maximise what time I have left and I don’t want to put a date on it.”
Team Dimension Data’s full line-up:
- Mark Cavendish
- Edvald Boasson Hagen
- Mark Renshaw
- Reinardt Janse van Rensburg
- Serge Pauwels
- Julien Vermote
- Tom-Jelte Slagter
- Jay Thomson
Tony Blackburn? Isn't he dead yet? Why do third-rate celebs think their witterings are worth listening to?
Sounds to me like they're getting ripped off. People have thrown together Raspberry Pi hardware along with a camera (there's some excellent camera...
Would it be too simple to say the categories are based on sex, not on gender?
I had to go and look that up and can only agree with you. Quite a handsome Coat of Arms as well.
That G turn from 2km to 1km was something to boggle at, wasn't it. Cav was magnificent, the others especially Milan surprisingly faded. Lovely...
Think you've got hold of the wrong end of the stick there, testosterone is reduced by taking testosterone blockers, not by 'taking oestrogen'....
I concur GP4000 is the hardest I've ever had to mount on a rim, Ultegra wheelset in my case. Shifted the outer skin on my thumbs!...
Another one who deliberately misuses the term. Looking for trouble. Yeah because in London you have to stake out a road all day to find one offence.
Ticks a box, doesn't it?...
Normally I don't have a small enough violin for them but in this case I guess it's possible that their office / secretary / intern submitted this...