Mark Cavendish gets his 2024 season underway later today (Tuesday) when he competes in South America.

The Manx Missile, the joint record stage winner at the Tour de France with 34 victories, begins his final campaign at the Tour Colombia.

The 38-year-old had been expected to retire at the end of the 2023 season but, having crashed out of last year’s TdF when chasing a record-breaking 35th win, he has opted to extend his stay with Astana Qazaqstan Team for one more season.

The Colombian race begins with a 155-kilometre stage from Paipa to Duitama and then continues for six stages before finishing in the country’s capital, Bogota, on February 11.

The following week, the Manxman heads to the Middle East to take part in the UAE Tour where he has recorded numerous victories in the past and is usually a good springboard for the rest of the season.

Longer term, Cav will no doubt have his sights set on the 2024 Tour de France which gets underway on June 29.

There’s a good chance he will not be the only Manx cyclist in action at the event, with fellow professionals Lizzie Holden and Becky Storrie in contention to ride at the women’s Tour de France Femmes with UAE Team ADQ and Team dsm-Firmenich PostNL respectively.