Mark Cavendish, Connor Swift and Annemiek van Vleuten added to Tour of Yorkshire start list

BRITISH ROAD race champion Connor Swift and Tour de France legend Mark Cavendish are the latest star names to sign up for next week’s Tour de Yorkshire.

SEE YOU SOON! Connor Swift. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

Cavendish, whose mother lives in Harrogate, will be competing in Yorkshire for the second successive year.

He said: “I’m really excited to heading back to the Tour de Yorkshire along with my Dimension Data for Qhubeka team-mates to race in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

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“I really enjoyed the tough, but beautiful, parcours last year as I rode the race for the first time and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for us in the 2019 edition.

HELLO AGAIN: Mark Cavendish arrives for the start of stage 1 of the tour in Beverley last year. Picture: Tony Johnson.

“Over and above the racing though, it always blows my mind to see the incredible support of the fans. With some of my family in Yorkshire, it makes it so special and I can’t wait to see them all again.”

Swift is from Doncaster, where the race will begin from on Thursday.

The Madison Genesis rider said: “Being able to race the Tour de Yorkshire in the national champion’s jersey and having the fans supporting me will be smashing.

“Cycling in Yorkshire has a massive following and we’re expecting huge crowds.”

Meanwhile, the Asda women’s race has been boosted by the inclusion of reigning world time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten who is one of the most decorated riders in the female peloton.

As well as winning the UCI Road World Championships time trial last year, she is also the current Giro Rosa, Women’s World Tour and La Course by Le Tour de France champion.

The Dutchwoman – who rides for Mitchelton Scott – most recently triumphed at Strade Bianche last month and will compete at Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes tomorrow before traveling to Yorkshire.

She said: “I am really looking forward to racing in Yorkshire.

“The crowds in the UK are always super awesome so I expect that in this race as well.

“I am also excited because the World Championships will be held in the county in September so it will also be good to see some of the road course featured on Friday’s stage.

“I’ve looked at the race details and I think stage two really suits me so I am looking forward to that one in particular, it looks really hard.”

Yorkshire rider Abby-Mae Parkinson and Olympic gold medallist Elinor Barker have confirmed they will be lining up next week for the British Team Drops outfit.

Other big names due in the count next week include four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, sprint ace Marcel Kittel and Yorkshire’s former world champion, Lizzie Deignan.