Mark Cavendish confirms Six Day London participation in October - News shorts

Boonen to star in TV cycling series, Keukeleire sidelined with respiratory infection, Quick-Step Floors sign Asgreen

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) confirmed that he will compete at the Six Day London held at Lee Valley VeloPark from October 23-28.

Cavendish finished second in 2016 and 2017, previously partnered with Bradley Wiggins and Peter Kennaugh.

"The Six Day Series is getting bigger and better every year and I'm so excited to be coming back to London in October. Any Six Day is hard graft. It's mentally and physically exhausting," Cavendish said in a press release from the Six Day Series organisers.

"The crowd are amazing in London and really keep you going throughout the six days so I wanted to come back again for them. I am definitely in it to win it and I will give my all to give the crowd a home win.

"It won't be easy though, there's always a really strong field in London. Having a home crowd behind me will be vital, so come down and be part of Team Cav!"

Cavendish has had a string of bad luck this early season on the road, crashing out of Abu Dhabi Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico and most recently Milan-San Remo. He will miss next month's Commonwealth Games due to injury.

Mark Cavendish of Great Britain waves as he is introduced to the crowd on day four of the London Six Day Race

Boonen to star in new cycling series for Belgian TV

Tom Boonen has been busy since his retirement from pro cycling, with roles as an advisor at Lotto Soudal and co-commentating at VTM. Now, he has added another project; creating a new human-interest cycling TV series for Eén.

Nieuwsblad reported that Boonen will travel the world in search of people for whom the bicycle is a necessary means to achieve a goal, to give their families a better future, or simply to survive. Boonen will go into their environment, listen to their stories and work with them.

The series is still in a research phase. Producers are investigating potential cases such as whether they can follow a few bicycle stewards in Mexico: rival ex-gang members who left behind their criminal past to make their own bikes and to create a safe environment for young people. Another example is the bicycle ambulance providers in Malawi, who provide home nursing for HIV patients, help save babies and assist surgeons.

"The bike has ensured that I have a better life. Today I can do what I want. But I am far from being the only one for whom the bicycle is or can be a means to look for a better life," Boonen says in the program's preview. "There is a lot going on, but what convinced me to do this program is that it is a strong idea that I fully agree with."

Tom Boonen retired after the 2017 Paris-Roubaix

Respiratory infection sidelines Keukeleire

A respiratory infection picked up after Driegaase De Panne has sidelined Jens Keukeleire (Lotto Soudal) from competing in the rest of the Classics season.

He was replaced on the Lotto Soudal team at the recent E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem but hasn't recovered enough to return to racing.

"First, Jens crashed in the finale of Milan-San Remo," said the team's doctor Servaas Bingé. "He wasn't hurt much and so it was decided he would ride Bruges – De Panne. Afterwards he incurred a respiratory infection, of which he hasn't recovered yet.

"Unfortunately a rider is more fragile when he is in top shape. Now we have to focus on his health and well-being. Of course this is a huge disappointment for Jens. This is a very important time in his first season in a new team and of course he wanted to perform the best as possible."

Lotto Soudal roster for Dwars door Vlaanderen: Lars Bak, Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst, Jens Debusschere, Nikolas Maes, Lawrence Naesen and Jelle Wallays.

Jens Keukeleire (Lotto Soudal)

Quick-Step Floors sign young rider Asgreen

Quick-Step Floors announced Tuesday that they signed Danish talent Kasper Asgreen until the end of 2020, making the 23-year-old the first rider to join the team this season and the 28th member of the squad.

Asgreen raced for Continental outfit Virtu Cycling. Last year, he earned the gold medal in the time trial race at the U23 European Championships and took a solo win from a day-long break on the opening stage of the Tour de l'Avenir.

"To sign a contract with this team, the winningest for six years in a row and one of the most established on the World Tour, is a major thing, hard to believe it is actually happening," he said in a team press release.

"Like every young rider who is passionate about cycling, I started dreaming about becoming a pro when I raced my first race in 2009. I was 14 years old back then and having made it into the pro scene, on this team, is really unbelievable."

Asgreen joined the team at a training camp in Calpe at the end of the 2017 season. He will make his debut with the team at Scheldeprijs on April 4.

"No doubt it will be a big challenge to enter the World Tour but I am fortunate that I will join a team with some very experienced riders, who are used to winning a lot of cycling races, riders that can help me navigate and grow in the sport, so I one day hopefully will win many cycling races too. If I am allowed to fantasize about races I would like to win the most, it would be, without any doubt, Paris-Roubaix and the World ITT Championships," he said.

Kasper Asgreen (Denmark)

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