Mark Cavendish has decided to make the Abu Dhabi Tour his launchpad for the 2018 season. The British rider is an ambassador of the Tour and is excited to return to action following the travails of the past season.

The Dimension Data cyclist is set to feature in the race slated for February 21-25. He is confident of putting up a good showing in the event where he has enjoyed success in the past two seasons. The 32-year old won the General Classification by Time last year after Stages 1 and 2. He won the General Classification by Points as well to make it two years in a row, claiming the Red and Green Jersey.

Cavendish is looking forward to this year’s event. He says Abu Dhabi is “a very special place” for him and his family. He adds that he wants to be on the final podium this year again and hopefully repeat the success of last year.

The peloton will ride in the desert, among the oasis, by the sea and on the islands, just like last year’s. The total length of the race is 686kms.

“The stages are difficult but pretty spectacular when it comes to views. The first three stages are good for me. It’s nice to see the introduction for time trial making things more open. There won’t be two or three guys vying for the title, but more riders will have a chance,” Cavendish said.

The rider will battle for the title former Vuelta aEspana winner Fabio Aru, last year’s winner Rui Costa, Girod’Italia winner Alejandro Valverde, Marcel Kittel, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, Quick-Step Floors’ EliaViviani et al.