Dimension DATA TOB Best: GC Win 2015 & 2016 Total participations 7
There are perceived wrongs to be put right for Mark Cavendish; the Manx rider hasn’t won a stage of his home race since 2013, despite being the headline performer in each of the last four editions.
In the weeks leading up to the race, the 33-year-old hasn’t had a heavy block of racing but has a sprint team involving Bernhard Eisel and Scott Thwaites at his disposal. The African team’s hopes, though, go further than Cavendish: Welshman and first-year pro Scott Davies proved repeatedly at U23 level that he has the capacity to sit in the upper echelons of the general classification. Expect him to be given the licence to attack on stages that will determine the overall result.
“I could possibly have a go up Whinlatter but it will be hard to predict,” Davies says. “I wouldn’t turn down any opportunity to have a go because there’s only a handful of races we get to do in the UK each year.” Though a stellar line-up of sprinters is waiting to exploit the flat stages, Davies believes his team hold an advantage: “We have a lot of experience and lot of the team have raced together throughout the year, and that helps. “We are going to hopefully pick up stage wins, but if we can be in contention for the GC as well then that is something we will aim to do.”
n CW says Davies could well steal the limelight from Cavendish, who should at the very least contest the sprints like he used to.