THE greatest sprinter of all time, Mark Cavendish, has been confirmed as the first rider for the 2021 Tour of Britain.

Two stages of the annual race will take part in Wales, three years after the opening stage crossed the finish line in Newport.

Cavendish, who has won more stages of the modern Tour than any other rider will lead his Belgian Deceuninck – Quick-Step team at the UK’s biggest race.

He has previously started the 11 Tours of Britain, finishing ninth, and led the race for two days during the 2007 edition.

A world champion on both road and track, he equalled Eddy Merckx’s long-standing record of 34 stage victories in the Tour de France and won the race’s prestigious points competition in July.

The Manxman said: “It is always an honour to race on the home roads of the Tour of Britain.

"It is a race where I have always enjoyed success and I am really looking forward to racing with what I know will be a strong Deceuninck – Quick-Step team.

"It has already been a special year for me and riding the Tour of Britain will be a great way to see so many of the people who have supported me throughout.”


Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain race director, added: “We always pride ourselves on the quality of riders we attract, and the participation of Mark Cavendish in this year’s Tour of Britain will no doubt whet the appetite of the British public.

"He’s a true great of our sport – something he has proved once again throughout his unforgettable 2021 season – and I cannot wait to see him on the start line in Penzance.”

Six-time Tour de France winner, Wout van Aert, will also cycle Welsh roads next month as he was confirmed for the Tour.

Stage three of this year's Tour will see the riders enter Wales with an 18.2km team time trial in Carmarthenshire.

They will cycle between Llandeilo and the National Botanic Gardens of Wales on September 7.

The next day they will take part in stage four, taking them the 209.7km from Aberaeron to Llandudno.