Manx sprinter Mark Cavendish leads Omega Pharma-QuickStep at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on August 10

Mark Cavendish has been confirmed as Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s leader at the 2014 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday August 10.

With a step up to UCI 1.HC status, the race route has been toughened up since last year’s inaugural running of the event. Twenty-five teams of six riders will take on the 200-kilometre race.

The riders will head out of London and into the Surrey Hills, where they will complete circuits of a testing loop that includes the key climbs of Denbies Vineyard to Ranmore Common, Leith Hill and Staple Lane. The race finishes on The Mall, in front of Buckingham Palace.

“I’m excited to be riding in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic for the first time this year,” said Cavendish. “It’s another opportunity to race in front of the amazing crowds in Britain. Coming after the Tour de France and Commonwealth Games, more and more people are going to be at the roadside cheering us on and wanting to be a part of the weekend.”

Race director Mick Bennett added: “We are delighted to welcome Mark Cavendish and his Omega Pharma Quick-Step team to the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic. The fact that he and his team have chosen to ride the event, and our elevation to Hors Categorie status for 2014, underlines Prudential RideLondon’s status as the world’s greatest festival of cycling.

“This year we have looked at the route and made some significant changes to the race in the Surrey Hills, with the addition of the climb through Denbies Vineyard, an exciting and innovative change that we feel will benefit both spectators and riders.”

The 2014 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic will be broadcast live on BBC One. Last year’s race was won by Arnaud Demare (FDJ).