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Mark Cavendish headlines Bahrain-McLaren team for Gent-Wevelgem and Scheldeprijs

New Bahrain McLaren signing Mark Cavendish is ready for the new season
(Image credit: Scott Mitchell / Bahrain McLaren)

Mark Cavendish forms part of a competitive Bahrain McLaren team for Sunday’s Gent-Wevelgem in Belgium, and although he will likely race as a support rider, the former Milan-San Remo winner is set for a leadership role in next week’s Scheldeprijs.

The team for Gent-Wevelgem includes Dylan Teuns, Ivan Cortina and Sonny Colbrelli, with the Italian enjoying two top-tens in recent weeks, including fourth in De Brabantse Pijl - La Flèche Brabançonne.

“I’m in shape and with the team, we aim to take a good result. We are competing there with a strong squad and we have the chance to succeed. It will be fundamental to be in front at the key points of the race,” Colbrelli said in a statement issued by his team.

The rest of the team is comprised of Marco Haller, Marcel Sieberg, and Fred Wright.

“Our line-up will include a mix of sprinters and classic men,” Tristan Hoffman said.

“We have three riders that can make the difference there: Sonny Colbrelli, Dylan Teuns, and Ivan Cortina.  They’ll get the protection at any time during the race, that is a typical classic one. The course heads to the coast and then back inland, with the risk of crosswind and backwind that split the group. The Kemmelberg is a key point in the race and gravel zones will put extra stress on the riders. We expect the peloton will reduce and we will try to have our guys there, fighting in a select group in the finale”.

Cavendish has struggled for results once more this season and will likely ride in a support role in Gent-Wevelgem. However, the team has said that they will ride for the former road world champion in Scheldeprijs, which takes place on Wednesday, October 14.

Cavendish has won the Belgian one-day race three times in his career, with the last victory coming in 2011. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the race will take place over 10 laps of a 17.4km circuit in and around Schoten.

“We will race there with Mark Cavendish who has been very successful there.”

“It will make it, even more, a sprinters race,” Hoffman said.