Dimension Data have confirmed its six-man team for the 2016 Tour of Britain with Mark Cavendish spearheading its squad, although there is no place for defending champion Edvald Boasson Hagen. Tour de France stage winner Steve Cummings is also selected for the race and will be free to pursue his personal ambitions.
The 2.HC stage race will be Cavendish's first road race since the Tour de France and marks his return to the road after winning silver in the omnium. Cavendish will have Mark Renshaw and Bernie Eisel as his dedicated lead out men in his bid for an 11th career stage win at the race.
"Let's see if we can win 1 or 2 stages with Mark Cavendish and play a role in GC. We definitely going to try and show the jersey by winning stages, going in breakaway and by having fun out there," Eisel said of the team ambition.
Eisel will also perform the role of road captain which becomes even more important for the nine-stage race with just six riders per team.
"I am really looking forward to racing Tour of Britain again," he said. "After looking through the stages, this year's race will probably be the toughest one yet. The last stages have 3000 to 4000m of climbing, and that's in Britain so you know it's just going to be up and down all day. 6 man teams, it will be very tough to control the race and I think we will see the overall lead changing hands many times."
The race starts in Glasgow on September 4, finishing in London on September after a split stage in Bristol that includes a morning time trial.
"Semi stages are also always very hard, a super hard stage and a time trial on the same day, that is going to be a game changer," he added. "I am looking forward to finding some good shape for the Worlds and also to build up for the first big goal, Eneco Tour by racing here at Tour of Britain."
South African duo Johann van Zyl and Jay Thomson complete the team as domestiques but will be allowed to animated the race in breakaways should the opportunity present itself for either rider.
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Dimension Data for 2016 Tour of Britain: Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings, Bernie Eisel, Mark Renshaw, Johann van Zyl and Jay Thomson.