Mark Cavendish eyes world road race as stars gather for Tour of Britain
A few years ago, the organisers of the Tour of England started out subtly tailoring their occasion to put it as a key buildup race to the world street race championships and this yr the philosophy appears to have paid off in spades, with Mark Cavendish and André Greipel among a group of pinnacle sprinters lining up on Sunday in Glasgow for the 8-day trek to London. the arena elite championship in Qatar is pancake flat and is later than common – 16 October – in the hope that this will provide the cooler climate for racing so Britain is simply the first step for Cavendish after his success in Rio, where he gained the silver medal in the omnium. Qatar also marks the 0.33 target in a multifaceted season wherein the Manxman aimed to wear the yellow jersey of the Excursion de France for the first time in addition to triumphing his first Olympic medal. Joining Cavendish – now 2d best to Eddy Merckx within the list of all-time Excursion stage winners – and ultimate 12 months’s dominant Tour sprinter Greipel, is the up-and-coming Australian Caleb Ewan, Dylan Groenewegen of Lotto-Jumbo, and Group Sky’s Elia Viviani, who took the omnium gold in Rio ahead of Cavendish, and is now a possible leader of the Italian Crew in Qatar in conjunction with Giacomo Nizzolo, who rides in this race for Trek-Segafredo. in addition to individuals of the countrywide under-23 academy, the Outstanding Britain Group consists of feasible wingmen for Cavendish in Qatar in Daniel McLay, who figured frequently within the pinnacle 10 of Excursion stages and the countrywide champion, Adam Blythe. Their trade teams – Fortune and Tinkoff respectively – are not right down to race so the area has been located for them within the countrywide squad. Owain Doull of Group Wiggins is any other man with his eye on Qatar, so, too, Ben Swift of Group Sky. There are best degrees out of the nine where a mass end seems assured due to the fact this is one of the hilliest routes devised since the British Excursion became relaunched in 2004. The sprint ranges bookend the race, with a quite benign opener south from Glasgow to Fort Douglas and a repeat of closing yr’s three-pronged circuit race in critical London, in which Viviani turned into provided victory closing year after a dramatic finish-line clash with Greipel. Monday’s stage through the Lake District consists of the climbs of Whinlatter and the War before an uphill finish in Kendal – one for Rapid or Viviani possibly – while Tuesday has the Cat & Fiddle bypass in the Peak District and Wednesday functions 4,000m of climbing thru Powys en route to Builth Wells. Thursday’s roads into Tub appearance extra propitious, if some distance from flat, at the same time as Friday functions what need to be a decisive uphill finish on Dartmoor, at the Haytor climb where Simon Yates, a winner in the modern Vuelta and España, triumphed whilst nonetheless a novice in 2013. The Haytor finish is observed the following morning by way of a 15km time trial in Bristol, where the same direction on Clifton Down is used for a 90km circuit race, a revolutionary layout that must draw a big crowd, however, wherein a climb from the Avon at 2km to go should eliminate the heavier faster. The blend of time trialling and hiking means the overall title is difficult to expect. On paper, the combination is best for Steve Cummings, who has loved a golden 12 months with a 2d degree win in the Tour de France, but who concedes that he unearths shape tough to preserve in September. The Haytor end will healthy Daniel Martin of Etixx-Short-Step, however, the time trial degree will favour professionals which include Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands, the Australian Rohan Dennis or the country wide champion, Alex Dowsett. Of the trio Dumoulin – winner of the mountain stage at Andorra-Arcalis on this 12 months Tour – appears great capable of deal with the climbs. One time trial specialist who’s unlikely to target the overall title is Sir Bradley Wiggins, set to make but another farewell appearance inside the British Excursion three hundred and sixty-five days after ultimate 12 months’ good-bye Excursion. Wiggins now plans to cease his profession on the Gent Six in November and if next week does show to be his last expert road race a quick time after the eighth Olympic medal of his profession, that would be suitable for a race that turned into relaunched within the wake of his first Olympic gold in Athens in 2004.