Cavendish was yesterday announced as the most high-profile addition to this year’s Tour de Yorkshire.
The 32-year-old is poised for his first outing since March, when he crashed during the Milan-Sanremo – an injury which forced him to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games.
The Manxman will be hoping that his return to the Broad Acres is far more positive than his last outing in 2014. Cavendish dislocated his collarbone in a crash during stage one of the Grand Depart in the Tour de France that year.
“I’m delighted to have recovered from my injuries (and) to be back racing sooner than I initially thought,” said Cavendish.
“What better way to do that than at what could be described as a home race for me, the Tour de Yorkshire.
“My mother’s from Harrogate and obviously the last time I raced things didn’t go that great for me, but one thing I remember is the incredible crowds.”
To cope with its rapidly-growing popularity, this year’s Tour de Yorkshire has been extended and will run over four days from Thursday, May 3 until Sunday, May 6. Despite having competed at the Olympic Games and with numerous Tour de France stage wins under his belt, Cavendish candidly admits he is looking forward to experiencing a new competition.
“It’s the first time that I’ve raced the Tour de Yorkshire and I’m extremely excited,” he added.
“Results-wise; I’m not sure where my form will be actually only having had a couple of weeks back on the bike but I’ll just be absorbing the atmosphere in one of the most beautiful places in the world.”
Cavendish’s inclusion in the ever-expanding Tour will no doubt swell the crowds furthermore – something the event’s organisers are delighted with.
Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity said: “Mark is a living legend in the world of cycling and we’re over the moon that he will be competing at the Tour de Yorkshire.
“It’s not every day you get to see a sportsman of his stature competing on home roads, and we’re certain he’ll receive a hero’s welcome.”