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by Shane Stokes
June 27, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Cavendish and Cummings confirmed for Team Dimension Data’s Tour de France squad; Cannondale-Drapac confirms Tour de France line-up; Backup for Quintana and Valverde confirmed by Movistar; Fuglsang and Aru lead Astana at Tour de France; Bardet’s Ag2r teammates finalized for Tour; Bouhanni leads Cofidis in 2017 Tour de France; Izagirre and Colbrelli heading Bahrain-Merida’s Tour lineup; Meintjes aiming higher after strong Tour performance in 2016; Cookson ‘angered’ by draft report into British Cycling; Hosking extends with Alé Cipollini for 2018, will return full-time to Europe; Warbasse writes about long journey to first professional win; Orica-Scott chef subject of Amazon Tour de France documentary; Canyon receives Red Dot Design Team of the Year award; Video: Movistar reveals its Tour de France nine; Video: McLaughlin wins Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Race
Battling back from injury and illness, both Mark Cavendish and Steve Cummings have been confirmed for Team Dimension Data’s Tour de France squad.
Cavendish has clocked up a staggering 30 Tour stage wins and told CyclingTips earlier this year that he believed Eddy Merckx’s all-time record of 34 was within reach. He’s struggled this season with an ankle injury and then the Epstein-Barr virus, but was able to return to racing in the Tour of Slovenia. After netting second on the final stage there, he also competed in the British road race championships on the Isle of Man on Sunday.
Even if he is not in the same form as last year, riding this year’s Tour gives him a chance to get closer to Merckx’s number. “As has been widely reported, it’s been a difficult few months for me on the back of the illness that set me back earlier on in the season,” he said in a team announcement on Monday. “Despite this setback and my lack of race time I’ve worked incredibly hard both to ensure I could firstly recover from the illness as well as then aiming to build my fitness up as much as possible in order to start the Tour.”
Cavendish said that the importance of the event meant that missing out is something that he and the team wanted to avoid if at all possible. “If I am being totally honest, had this not been the Tour de France we may have collectively taken a different approach with regards to my inclusion,” he stated. “But I feel that I owe it to myself, the team, our sponsors and most importantly to the Tour itself, given its history and everything that it stands for – as well as the emotional attachment I have for it – to give it my best and to put everything I have in to trying to help the team.”
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