Mark Cavendish is to make a return to track cycling next month, fuelling speculation that the Manx Missile will aim to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
It has been announced that the Manxman will compete in the International Belgian Open in Ghent next month, a competition which will carry qualifying points for the UCI World Cup which begins in Manchester at the beginning of November.
The move came about after the International Cycling Union (UCI) changed a rule which meant riders are now responsible for earning qualifying points for World Cup events as well as the UCI World Championship – the next of which will take place in Florence, Italy between September 22-29 - and Olympic events
Cavendish made his name on the track when he won the Madison world title alongside Rob Hayles in 2005 and represented Great Britain in the discipline at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
However, Cav left China empty-handed – the only member of the GB track cycling squad to do so – and soon switched to road cycling where he has since become a superstar, racking up 106 professional wins on the road, points jerseys in all three grand tours, 25 Tour de France stage wins and a UCI World Road Race Championship title in Copenhagen.
At the 2012 London Olympics, Cavendish worked as a pundit for the BBC and hinted that he would consider a return to track cycling as part of a Great Britain team pursuit squad, despite previously stating that he was finished in the velodrome.
And now the organisers of the Belgian Open have announced that the Manx Missile will contest both the scratch race and Madison events in the competition in Ghent which runs from September 6-7.