Cape Town - Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are all set to start the 13th edition of the Tour of Britain on Sunday as the defending champions.
The eight-stage tour will conclude in London on Sunday, September 11.
Last year the Tour of Britain was a magnificent event for the African Team as Edvald Boasson Hagen showed his class and consistency to take an excellent overall victory. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are looking forward to defending their title from last year, even though Boasson Hagen won’t be on the start line in Glasgow.
The team will start the Tour of Britain with a powerful six-rider team, spearheaded by Tour de France heroes, Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings, Bernie Eisel and Mark Renshaw. It will be Cavendish's first road race back after his fine silver medal performance at the Olympic Games in Rio and he will no doubt be looking to see how the legs respond on the stages ending in bunch sprints.
With the Tour of Britain including an individual time trial on stage seven this year, Cummings will be a force to be reckoned with as the race against the clock will suit his capabilities and possibly set him up well in the overall classification.
Renshaw showed his finishing form is on the rise too with a second place at the Ride London Classic and a seventh at Cyclassics Hamburg.
Eisel, as always, will captain the team out on the road.
Johann van Zyl and Jay Thomson will be providing the muscle to support the team’s goals at this year's Tour of Britain and the South African duo have also proven their worth in numerous breakaways too this year. With no stand-out queen stage, exciting racing is expected every day and the African team are looking forward to being key animators of the race.
"I am really looking forward to racing Tour of Britain again," said Eisel. "After looking through the stages, this year's race will probably be the toughest one yet. The last stages have 3 000 to 4 000m of climbing, and that's in Britain so you know it's just going to be up and down all day.
"Six-man teams, it will be very tough to control the race and I think we will see the overall lead changing hands many times. Semi stages are also always very hard, a super hard stage and a time trial on the same day, that is going to be a game changer," added Eisel.
"I am looking forward to finding some good shape for the Worlds and also to build up for the first big goal, Eneco Tour by racing here at Tour of Britain. Let's see if we can win one or two stages with Mark Cavendish and play a role in GC. We're definitely going to try and show the jersey by winning stages, going in breakaways and by having fun out there."