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You had Lance, now we have Cav

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Written by : published Friday 1st July 2011

You had Lance, now we have Cav main image

With the countdown to Tour de France 2011 ticking into its final few days, Mark Cavendish wants his unofficial title of being the world’s best sprinter validated by the colour green on his back.

That, as so suggested in the months leading up to this year’s tour, will not be by wearing the green of Team Sky but by securing the sprinter’s green jersey that has hitherto eluded him in his Tour de France career.

Last year’s five stage victories – preparations for which were beset by injury – suggest a man who has the skill to claim a title he thinks belongs to him by right.

He is still sore from 2009’s tour, after missing out on the green jersey because of being controversially docked points for dangerous riding: “You can see how the organisers have changed the situation because it was obvious that the fastest sprinter wasn’t winning the green jersey,” he said.

That soreness may have been emphasised with a change of rules that would have landed him the jersey back in 2009, but this time around he is much better prepared, saying he is “excited” and that “form is good”.

“My way to win the green jersey always has been and always will be to win as many stages as possible,” he said.

To achieve this he has been extra thorough: “I studied the whole course a couple of months ago,” he said. “I know there are not many people who actually do it; they open their race book the day before the stage. We do our homework. We’re not told to do anything, it’s not a school or an amateur club, we’re professional bike riders, so we put ourselves in the opportunities to perform.”

When it was put to him that Bradley Wiggins and David Millar do not work so far ahead, Cavendish answered: “I win four, five or six stages a year.”

A typically ‘Cavendish’ reply from an extremely confident rider. A rider, who, after having the suggestion that rolling countryside will kill him off, answered: “I challenge anybody to come on a hilly ride with me.”

Equally ‘Cavendish’ is his answer to the portrayal of him as a deluded rider without his teammates: “Another common misconception is that I can’t do s*** without a train.”

One more ‘Cavism’?  What Cavendish lacks in yellow jerseys, he makes up for in entertainment, often proving doubters wrong on the bike: “Normally, when I say I want to do something, I do it. I always wanted to make history.” 

About the author Joe Smith

Joe Smith

My name is Joe Smith and I currently attend the University of Huddersfield in Yorkshire, England. I am in the first year of a Sports Journalism BA Hons degree with a view to becoming a professional sports journalist at a national newspaper. I help with the running of Caistor Town Cricket Club's website and also contribute to WriteAngleMedia, a company associated with various midalnds-based newspapers, reporting on semi-professional (non-league) football matches. My top three sports are cricket, football and tennis, closely followed by rugby league. I follow many sports teams, but  my favoured clubs are: Grimsby Town (football/soccer), Lancashire County Cricket Club and Huddersfield Giants (rugby league).

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