Mark Cavendish’s involvement in the Tour de France was never seriously in doubt barring injury or ill health and his participation was confirmed last night when Omega Pharma-Quick Step became the first of the 22 teams to reveal their full nine-rider line-up.

The 29-year-old, who is set to defend his national road race title this weekend, will be at the start line in Leeds on Saturday, July 5 before the Stage Three route from Cambridge to The Mall takes him close to his Ongar home as it travels through west Essex and East London two days later.

The Omega Pharma squad also includes Mark Renshaw, who has served Cavendish superbly as his main lead out man for the sprints, three-time world time-trial champion Tony Martin and Niki Terpstra, the winner of this year’s Paris-Roubaix one-day classic.

Omega Pharma-Quick Step team: Jan Bakelants (Belgium); Mark Cavendish (Great Britain); Michal Golas (Poland); Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland); Tony Martin (Germany); Alessandro Petacchi (Italy); Mark Renshaw (Australia); Niki Terpstra (Netherlands); Matteo Trentin (Italy).