Video: Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Ivan Basso and Samuel Sanchez to race in Tour of Britain 2012
SOME of the biggest names in world cycling are included in the provisional start list for the Tour of Britain, which begins in Ipswich on Sunday.
As previously reported, the race will be headlined by superstar Team Sky duo Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish.
Wiggins made history this year as the first-ever British winner of the Tour de France, and went on to win his fourth Olympic gold medal in the time trial.
Cavendish, meanwhile, is the current road race world champion and the most dominant sprinter in professional cycling today.
But they will not be alone in bringing star power to the Tour.
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The start list, to be confirmed on Saturday night, contains stage winners from all three Grand Tours, including seven Tour de France stage winners, with 31 victories to their name – 23 of those belonging to Cavendish.
The rider list contains four Tour de France jersey winners – Ivan Basso (2002 Best Young Rider), Cavendish (2011 Green Jersey), Samuel Sanchez (2011 King of the Mountains) and Wiggins (2012 Yellow Jersey).
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Six Giro d’Italia stage winners and six Vuelta a Espana stage winners are also on the list, while five of the riders lining up are Olympic medallists, including Wiggins.
Joining Wiggins and Cavendish on Team Sky will be Bernard Eisel, Jeremy Hunt, Christian Knees and Tomas Lofkvist.
In all, riders from 17 teams – including an under 23 GB squad – and of 23 different nationalities will compete in this year’s Tour.
Stage One leaves Ipswich at 10am and finishes at the Norfolk Showground.