Since his emotional post-race interview at Gent-Wevelgem last weekend, when the 35-year-old said that he may have ridden his last race, Cavendish has resolved to try to race again next season, and went on to ride Wednesday's Scheldeprijs, and will now line up for Flanders this weekend, which will be for only the third time in his career.
The 2011 road race world champion has struggled for form in recent years on the back suffering from the Epstein-Barr virus in 2017, but told reporters ahead of Wednesday's Scheldeprijs: "I don't want to stop. I love this sport. I give my life to this sport and I'd like to continue riding my bike."
The entire squad for the Tour of Flanders – completed by Chun Kai Feng, Marco Haller, Luka Pibernik and Fred Wright – covered the final 80km of this year's 243km race on a reconnaissance ride on Friday.
Colbrelli has a best finish of 10th at the 2017 edition of Flanders, but feels that this year's slightly shorter, rescheduled race should suit him.
"It went very smoothly," the 30-year-old Italian said of the recon ride. "The climbs are looking good.
"This race suits me, and I've never kept it a secret that my dream is to win the Tour of Flanders sooner or later. In recent races, I've had some crashes, but I'm feeling good and I'm motivated. It will be important to stay in a good position," Colbrelli said.
Sports director Tristan Hoffman – who finished fifth at Flanders in 2000 and eighth in 1999 – added: "I'm excited for Sunday and the riders are, too, for sure. It's one of the biggest races in the world and we're looking forward to it.
"We have a mix of experience and youth in our line-up. We have two leaders, Dylan Teuns and Sonny Colbrelli, who will have all the support from their teammates to try to be there in the finale and get a good result. All our riders are in good condition and are feeling good," the Dutchman said.
Bahrain McLaren for the 2020 Tour of Flanders: Mark Cavendish, Sonny Colbrelli, Chun Kai Feng, Marco Haller, Luka Pibernik, Dylan Teuns, Fred Wright
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