Mark Cavendish to make surprise Tour de France return

"I am delighted to be going back to the Tour de France with Deceuninck – Quick Step," the 36-year-old Mark Cavendish said in a team statement.

Mark Cavendish, back with Deceuninck-Quick Step six years after leaving the Belgian outfit, will be racing at the Tour for the first time in three years.   -  AP Photo

Mark Cavendish was named in the Deceuninck-Quick Step team for the Tour de France on Monday, days after team manager Patrick Lefevere said the British sprinter would remain at home for the Grand Tour starting on Saturday.

Sam Bennett was set to feature in the race and defend his green jersey but has failed to recover from a knee injury, with Cavendish taking his place and looking to add to his tally of 30 Tour de France stage wins.

"I am delighted to be going back to the Tour de France with Deceuninck – Quick Step," Cavendish, 36, said in a team statement.

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"Obviously, the circumstances with Sam could be better – he had a special Tour last year and I am sad for him not being able to defend his green jersey.

"But at the same time, I am excited to be going back to a cycling race that I have such an affinity with and where I have so much history."

Cavendish, back with Deceuninck-Quick Step six years after leaving the Belgian outfit, will be racing at the Tour for the first time in three years.

He has been in resurgent form this year, winning four stages at the Tour of Turkey followed by claiming the fifth stage at the Tour of Belgium.

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