Mark Cavendish back on the road at Tour de Yorkshire

Mark Cavendish (centre) shakes hands with Alberto Contador (left) and Chris Froome at the start of of the first stage of the Tour de France in in Leeds. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Mark Cavendish (centre) shakes hands with Alberto Contador (left) and Chris Froome at the start of of the first stage of the Tour de France in in Leeds. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

MARK CAVENDISH has confirmed he will return to road racing after injury by taking part in this year’s Tour de Yorkshire.

Cavendish suffered a dramatic crash at the Milan – San Remo race in Italy in March, fracturing a rib and damaging his ankle after colliding with a traffic bollard. Reports had suggested that he would be back in action at the Tour of California (13-19 May).

But his recovery has gone better than expected, with Team Dimension Data have announcing he will now be fit to compete in Yorkshire between May 3-6.

The 32-year-old Manxman is one of the sport’s highest-profile figures having won no-less than 30 Tour de France stages in a glittering career that also includes the 2011 UCI World Road Race Championships title and a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“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 next month,” said Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity

“His crash in Italy looked really serious but he’s such a tough, tenacious character and we’re thrilled he’s been able to make such a speedy recovery.

One thing I do remember is the incredible crowds and I know that the Tour de Yorkshire always provides.

Mark Cavendish

“I’m sure Mark will have his eyes on at least two of the stages on this year’s route and we can’t wait to see him launch his trademark sprint. 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.”

It has been a long-held ambition of Cavendish’s to ride the Tour de Yorkshire – he was the star attraction when the route was unveiled in Halifax last December.

“I’m delighted to have recovered sufficiently from my injuries at Milan -San Remo to be back racing sooner than I initially thought,” he said.

“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) in the 2014 Tour de France; but one thing I do remember is the incredible crowds and I know that the Tour de Yorkshire always provides.

“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 is the second big-name rider to confirm his attendance at the Tour de Yorkshire after his Team Dimension Data team-mate Serge Pauwels revealed last week he would be back to defend his title.

Read our exclusive interview with Mark Cavendish in the official Tour de Yorkshire programme - out now in shops. Postal copies ordered by calling 0333 207 0743 (option 5) inc P&P for delivery in UK.