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Cavendish and Bellis touted for British Tour de France bid

Sky TV has been confirmed as name sponsor for a British Tour de France team, which could involve Mark Cavendish and Jonny Bellis (pictured).

The multi­million pound Team Sky, to be run by GB Cycling Performance Director Dave Brailsford, will be backed by the satellite broadcaster until the end of 2013 and will aim to produce a British cyclist capable of challenging for the Tour within that time.

Brailsford refused to speculate over possible rider names but the involvement of Rod Ellingworth, who coaches Cavendish, has led to speculation the Manx star could be tempted to join.

Cavendish is under contract with the Columbia-High Road squad until 2010 but could be bought out if he wanted to make the switch.

Jonny Bellis is currently in his first season as a professional, riding for the CSC-Saxo Bank team.

Other possible candidates are Beijing Olympic squad members Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy, Ben Swift and Steve Cummings.

Wiggins and Thomas have both finished the Tour already.

"We are in this to win the Tour de France. It's never been done by a Briton and it's time to put the record straight," said Brailsford, who guided Britain's cyclists to eight gold medals in Beijing and was elected coach of the year for 2008.

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