British road cycling star Mark Cavendish will target Eddy Merckx’s Tour de France record of stage wins as he spearheads the Dimension Data team’s challenge alongside compatriot Stephen Cummings.

Cavendish, 32, is just four wins away from equalling Tour de France great Merckx’s record of 34 stage wins.

Sprint specialist Cavendish has however just one stage win this year in the Tour of Abu Dhabi in February.

The rider from the Isle of Man was sidelined with glandular fever and only returned to competition mid-June.

Two-time British time-trial champion Cummings, 36, has focussed on the three-week French race in recent years and has stage wins in each of the past two editions.

This year’s tour starts in the German city of Dusseldorf on Saturday.

Dimension Data team for Tour de France:

Mark Cavendish (GBR), Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR), Stephen Cummings (GBR), Bernhard Eisel (AUT), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Mark Renshaw (AUS), Scott Thwaites (GBR), Jaco Venter (RSA)

– Agence France-Presse

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