Mark Cavendish will return to action at Saturday’s Milan-San Remo following on from his crash at Tirreno-Adriatico. Mark Renshaw, who withdrew from the Italian stage race due to illness, is also included in the Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka line-up.
Cavendish fractured a rib in a big crash on day one of Tirreno-Adriatico but managed to complete the stage. He was cleared by his medical team to continue racing but he finished outside of the time limit. Cavendish has been training in Italy and rejoined his teammates on Wednesday.
“After crashing in Tirreno I’m obviously not in any sort of condition to win Milan-San Remo but having been able to train enough through the pain over the last few days I feel like I can go in support of my teammates.
“Milan-San Remo is a race close to my heart and it’s a particular style of race that reminding my body of the rhythm of it this year, will help me to compete for the win in future years,” he said.
Renshaw, who abandoned on stage five of Tirreno-Adriatico after feeling unwell, has since travelled to see a specialist in an effort to find a solution to a chronic sinusitis problem.
Also included in a strong line-up are Edvald Boasson Hagen, Scott Thwaites, Julien Vermote, Jay Thomson and Stephen Cummings. Tom-Jelte Slagter was not considered for selection as he has an upper respiratory tract infection. The Dutchman was forced to withdraw during Paris-Nice and will return to racing in due course.
Directeur Sportif Roger Hammond is looking forward to one of the biggest days on the calendar.
“As a team we’re really excited ahead of one of the sport’s iconic races. It’s great to have Mark (Cavendish) return to an event that’s obviously very special to him. He’s had a run of bad luck, crashing in both Abu Dhabi and Tirreno-Adriatico, but despite fracturing a rib, and weather permitting, has managed to train.
“It’s not been an easy selection process having both Bernie Eisel and Tom-Jelte Slagter unavailable but for now it looks like the weather could play a big part on the day and we look forward to taking opportunities that present themselves for a good result.”