The 27-year-old world champion from the Isle of Man will aim to continue the momentum of the Tour de France with success in the 250-kilometre men's Road Race, which features nine ascents of Surrey's Box Hill.
Although he relishes the task, Cavendish knows it is far from a straightforward prospect and he will need the full support of his four team-mates, Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, David Millar and Ian Stannard.
Cavendish said: 'Sorry to say but it's not as romantic as it sounds. It's a straight, then a right-left, then a slight downhill, bearing left, wide finish.
'We're racing in a sport with infinite variables, whether it's luck or someone has a good day, you have a bad day. That's what makes cycling special. It's also what makes you nervous.'
If all goes to plan, Cavendish will unleash his trademark sprint after the peloton pass the Queen Victoria Memorial.
Cavendish, who has lost four kilograms to improve his climbing ability for the race, said: 'If I didn't have a team here, there's no way I could say I'll get over Box Hill nine times alone.
'It's not just Box Hill, it's everything after it. Luckily I've got four of the strongest bike riders in the world around me.'