The Briton sustained broken leg, hip, ribs, vertebrae and elbow at the Criterium du Dauphine and was not expected to race again this year.

But the Team Ineos rider has been recovering faster than anticipated and he will line up with Tour de France winner Egan Bernal in the October 27 semi-competitive event in Japan.

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“I am really looking forward to coming back to the Criterium de Saitama this year,” began the Brit.

It is always an event that I enjoy doing – especially seeing all the Japanese fans, who are so passionate about the Tour de France and European racing.

“Looking forward to it and see you soon!”

GRATEFUL TO BE ALIVE

It is a remarkable turnaround for the 34-year-old, who told the Telegraph last month that he was grateful to be alive.

I’m grateful to be alive. I’m grateful to be on the road to recovery, I’m grateful that I’m able to recover.

“Now I’m going to give it everything. Both the TT and the road race in Tokyo look very appetising.

“I think the road race has over 5000m of climbing. Temperatures should be close to 40C. Humidity through the roof – should be an extremely gruelling race.

“And coming a week after doing the Tour – assuming I’m doing the Tour – it’s almost perfect. I’d like to throw my hat in the ring for both.

TARGETING A FIFTH TOUR

Despite his injuries, the four-time Tour de France winner is aiming to claim a fifth title in 2020.

As for the Tour, a fifth Tour title was a big deal in itself. But going for a fifth title off what was potentially a career-ending crash, that would be even bigger. There were loads of people who came out after the crash and said ‘He’s done. He’ll never win another Tour.’ They only spur me on.The bar is being raised every year. Everyone is going to altitude. Everyone is doing the same kind of training and following the same nutritional plans going into grand tours. So, the differences are very marginal. But I think so much of it goes back to basics. I’m going to have to train harder than I’ve ever trained before to get back there again.

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