Cavendish leads Dimension Data's hunt for Tour de France stage wins

Boasson Hagen, Cummings and Teklehaimanot named in 9-man team

Mark Cavendish has been named on Dimension Data’s team for the Tour de France alongside Edvald Boasson Hagen, Steve Cummings and Daniel Teklehaimanot.

After releasing a 13-rider long list a week ago, the South African outfit announced its final nine-man selection on Monday morning, and Cavendish will have Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel to guide him through the sprint finishes as he seeks to add to his running tally of 26 Tour stage wins.

Cavendish was named in the British track team for the Rio 2016 Olympics on Friday and it remains to be seen if he will complete the Tour or leave the race early in order to prepare for the omnium in Brazil.

The Manxman has won four races since joining Dimension Data from Etixx-QuickStep during the off-season and placed second in Sunday's British National Championships road race. Cavendish claimed one stage win at last year's Tour.

Boasson Hagen will serve as part of Cavendish's lead-out train in the opening days of the Tour but the Norwegian will have opportunities of his own later in the race. He claimed a stage win at the recent Criterium du Dauphine and retained his Norwegian national title at the weekend. The in-form Cummings was a stage winner in Mende at last year's Tour and already has three WorldTour victories to his name this season, including the final stage of the Dauphine.

Teklehaimanot arrives at the Tour fresh from claiming a second successive king of the mountains title at the Critérium du Dauphiné, and he is joined in the Dimension Data team by fellow Eritrean Natnael Berhane, who is making his Grande Boucle debut.

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg of South Africa completes a trio of African riders in the line-up, while Belgian Serge Pauwels returns to the Tour hoping to replicate his 13th place finish of a year ago.

"We have picked a very balanced team to be competitive and to represent the Qhubeka charity on every single stage the Tour de France offers this year," said Rolf Aldag, the team's Head of Performance. "The first few days will be dominated by the sprinters and we are confident to be right up there with Mark Cavendish, Edvald Boasson Hagen and the committed lead out around Mark Renshaw and Reinhard Janse van Rensburg.

"Serge Pauwels,Daniel Teklehaimanot and Steve Cummings proved in the past that they can be very successful from breakaways and that is what we try to repeat. Bernhard Eisel will serve as a road captain, while Natnael Berhane will learn a lot in his first Tour as well as he will get his own chance on selective stages."

The Tour de France gets underway in Mont-Saint-Michel on July 2.

Dimension Data team for the Tour de France: Natnael Berhane (Eri), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor), Mark Cavendish (GBr), Steve Cummings (GBr), Bernhard Eisel (Aut), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Serge Pauwels (Bel), Mark Renshaw (Aus) and Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri).

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