Mark Cavendish will lead Dimension Data at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain, which begins in Glasgow on Saturday, in what seems likely to be one of his final races for the team.
The news comes the day after it was announced that Ralf Aldag, who has been involved in management at most of teams the 34-year-old has ridden for throughout his career, will be leaving his role as performance director at the UCI WorldTour outfit at the end of the season.
Two months ago, Aldag had a public row with team principal Douglas Ryder over the latter's decision not to include Cavendish in the team's line-up for the Tour de France.
With the Manxman also missing the Vuelta, it is the first season since 2006, when he made his our de France debut , in which he has not ridden any of cycling's three Grand Tours where he has a combined total of 48 stage wins.
Cavendish has been linked recently with a move to Bahrain-Merida, where Rod Ellingworth, who coached him through the GB Academy system and masterminded his successful targeting of the rainbow jersey in Copenhagen in 2011, is set to become team principal.
“September always has me looking forward to The Ovo Energy Tour of Britain," said Cavendish. "Having witnessed first hand the rise of cycling in Great Britain, racing in front of a home crowd holds a special importance to me on a very personal level.
“What makes the 2019 edition especially significant is the finish in Manchester. I remember as an amateur watching the finish there in 2004, the first edition of the race in its current format, and so I’m really looking forward to now racing in what is such an important city for British cycling 15 years on.”
Joining Cavendish in the six-man line-up is former British road and time trial champion Steve Cummings, who won the Tour of Britain in 2016, plus past stage winner Julien Vermoete.
The line-up is completed by Bernard Eisel, Danilo Wyss and Mark Renshaw, Cavendish's long-time leadout man, who retires at the end of the season.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.