Mark Cavendish will lead the Dimension Data team at the UCI 2.1 Tour of Croatia with the 'Manx Missile' aiming to add to his stage and overall victory at the Tour of Qatar. The 30-year-old successfully balanced a road and track programme at the start of the season, including a world madison title alongside Bradley Wiggins, with the road his current focus.
Cavendish was most recently in action at Paris-Roubaix, finishing 30th a few days after he was second to Marcel Kittel at Scheldeprijs, and heads to Croatia with key leadout men Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel.
The team will be looking to stage wins across the six-day race with sports director Alex Sans Vega explaining the team roster for the race provides multiple options for victory.
"Tour of Croatia is going to be a good race to put some good kilometers in the legs for the riders as there are many long stages and also there are stages that suit all rider types," said Sans Vega. "We are confident we can achieve good results and it is the perfect opportunity to build up team spirit and become even stronger as a unit."
While the team heads to Croatia with a strong sprint train, Jay Thomson is looking to take his own opportunities in the hillier days.
"I am really looking forward to racing in Croatia," said Jay Thomson. "I've heard the country is amazing to see so there is no better way to see it than by bike. Some of the stages are super long but are pretty straight forward so this should give us a few great opportunities in the sprints with Mark Cavendish. There is one short but hard climbing day and a TTT so those days will be good if I can push a little more to see how the body is feeling."
Nic Dougall and Nathan Haas provide further options for breakaways and climbing stages. Tour of Langkawi winner Reinardt Janse van Rensburg adds further versatility to the line up and completes the Dimension Data roster for the second edition of the Tour of Croatia.
Adrien Niyonshuti was selected for the race but due to a visa issue the Rwandan won't be starting the race.
Dimension Data for the Tour of Croatia: Mark Cavendish, Mark Renshaw, Bernhard Eisel, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Jay Thomson, Nic Dougall and Nathan Haas.