The organisers of Paris-Tours have announced that new world champion Mark Cavendish will ride the Paris-Tours one-day Classic on Sunday October 9.
It is unclear if Paris-Tours will be Cavendish’s first race wearing the rainbow jersey but it seems likely. The Tour of Beijing is the only major race on the calendar in the coming weeks but ends on the same day as Paris-Tours. Gazzetta dello Sport hinted on Tuesday that Cavendish may also ride the Giro del Piemonte (October 13) and then the Giro di Lombardia (October 15) but this has still to be confirmed.
ASO revealed the names of the 25 teams and leading riders that will take part in the race on October 9. Cavendish is set to line-up with HTC-Highroad teammates Bernhard Eisel, John Degenkolb and Matt Goss – the rider he beat to win the world title in Copenhagen.
ASO has suggested that Cavendish could become the first ever world champion to win the sprint on the Avenue de Grammont finish. Tom Boonen and Oscar Freire both failed to win in the rainbow jersey in 2005 and 2006.
Freire could be one of Cavendish’s biggest rivals in the expected sprint finish this year. He won Paris-Tours in 2010, beating Angelo Furlan and Gert Steegmans. Philippe Gilbert, winner in 2008 and 2009, is also named as the team leader for Omega Pharma-Lotto, while Taylor Phinney (BMC), Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo), Robbie McEwen (RadioShack), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek), Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM) are all listed on the provisional start list.
14 ProTeams and 11 Professional Continental teams have been invited to the race. Team Type 1 has secured a place, with Laszlo Bodrogi and Alexandre Efimkin named as team leaders.
This year’s race will be the 105th edition of Paris-Tours.