SCOTT Thwaites will make his Tour de France debut after being named in Team Dimension Data's line-up for the race.

The Burley-in-Wharfedale rider joins sprint king Mark Cavendish and fellow Englishman Steve Cummings in the South African team for the most famous race of them all.

Thwaites' impressive seventh-placed finish at the weekend's National Road Race championships, on the Isle of Man, appear to have rubber-stamped his spot in the race, which starts in Dusseldorf this weekend.

For the 27-year-old, it is just reward for his consistency, versatility and much-improved climbing, and with three British riders in their ranks, Team Dimension Data match UK-based Team Sky's trio of domestic talent: Chris Froome, Luke Rowe and Geraint Thomas.

Cavendish's attempts to become the most prolific stage-winner in Tour history will continue after being confirmed in the line-up.

The news, while expected, is still a gamble as the 32-year-old sprinter only returned to training six weeks ago, having contracted the Epstein-Barr virus earlier this year.

Best known as the cause of glandular fever, the virus has effectively wiped out the first half of his season, although Cavendish did claim a second place in the final stage of the Tour of Slovenia earlier this month.

Cummings is another rider who has missed much of this season, having broken his collarbone, scapula and sternum in a serious crash in April, but the 36-year-old make a remarkable return at the National Road Championships, claiming a rare time trial and road race double.

Before Cummings, the last man to achieve that feat was David Millar in 2007 and the manner in which he won Sunday's road race on the Isle of Man suggests his late-blooming career may have a few more highlights after his Tour stage wins in 2015 and 2016, as well as last year's Tour of Britain victory.

But it is Cavendish's return to front-line action that will attract the most attention, particularly after his showing in last year's race when he confounded those who thought he was a fading force to win four more stages.

In a statement from his team, Cavendish said: "As has been widely reported, it's been a difficult few months for me on the back of the illness that set me back earlier on in the season.

"Despite this setback and my lack of race time, I've worked incredibly hard both to ensure I could firstly recover from the illness as well as then aiming to build my fitness up as much as possible in order to start the Tour.

"If I am being totally honest, had this not been the Tour de France we may have collectively taken a different approach with regards to my inclusion but I feel that I owe it to myself, the team, our sponsors and most importantly to the Tour itself given its history and everything that it stands for - as well as the emotional attachment I have for it – to give it my best and to put everything I have into trying to help the team."