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Mark Cavendish's heart set on riding in the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire

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Mark Cavendish is keen to race in the Tour de Yorkshire for the first time in 2018

Mark Cavendish is set to race in the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire.

The 32-year-old, winner of 30 Tour de France stages, attended the route announcement in Halifax on Tuesday, 5 December.

"I would have been here this year but I was at home watching with glandular fever," the Manxman said, reflecting on a season which was ruined by injury and illness.

Cavendish's team-mate Serge Pauwels won the 2017 edition of the race and Cavendish hopes to contribute to more success for Dimension Data next year.

"It was incredible to see our guys win on the final stage and Lizzie (Deignan) smash it in to Harrogate," he said. "I wanted to be there. Hopefully I don't get get glandular fever again and I'll try to be on the start line in Yorkshire.

"I wouldn't be here if I didn't intend to race."

The Tour de Yorkshire is a legacy event of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart, when Cavendish was favourite to win the opening stage in his mother's home town of Harrogate, only to crash within sight of the finish line.

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Britain's Mark Cavendish Tour de France
Image: Cavendish lies injured after his tumble in Harrogate in 2014

Yorkshire is due to host the 2019 World Road Championships, when Harrogate will serve as the main hub for race finishes.

The Tour de Yorkshire has been expanded to four days for 2018, with the women's race to be staged over two days. The men's race will take place from May 3-6, with the women's on May 3 and 4.

The men's race will open with a 182km stage from Beverley to Doncaster, before a first ever summit finish on the second stage, a 149km test from Barnsley to the top of the Cow and Calf in Ilkley.

The 184km stage three begins in Richmond before the now familiar sight of a finish on the seafront in Scarborough, while the race ends with a 189.5km stage from Halifax to The Headrow in the centre of Leeds.

The expanded women's race will see a 132.5km stage from Beverley to Doncaster and a 124km stage from Barnsley, again finishing on the Cow and Calf in Ilkley.

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