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Cavendish eyes yellow jersey chance in Tour de France

Cavendish eyes yellow jersey chance in Tour de France

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Mark Cavendish will target a spell in the famous maillot jaune in addition to winning the green jersey at this year’s Tour de France.

A flat 212-kilometre opening stage on Saturday presents the 28-year-old with the chance to embrace the race leader’s jersey which would complete his Grand Tour collection.

The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider, who won a maiden British road title in Glasgow, will begin his quest to obtain the points classification jersey - his key objective - on the island of Corsica where victory would hand him a stint in yellow.

"It's a big, big goal and a huge motivation for a team built around stage wins," Cavendish, who has worn the leader’s jersey in both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana, said of the chance to wear the maillot jaune.

"It's a strong group of sprinters this year. To get a win won't be easy, especially in the first stage of the Tour.

"To wear a jersey for a year, to represent my country as the champion, that's a massive honour."

Mark Cavendish

"History has showed it normally takes me a few days to get into a Grand Tour. Not at the Giro this year (when he won the opening stage), but before that.

"We'll go for it, but you have to show the Tour de France respect - nothing's a given. We'll try our best and see what happens."

Cavendish will start the 100th edition of the Tour in the colours of a national champion having succeeded in the city centre of Glasgow, a source of immense pride for the Manxman.

And while it is a welcome addition to Cavendish’s exceptional palmarès, it is green which he hopes to bear on the Champs-Élysées, where he has won for an unprecedented four successive years.

"It's the colour I chase," the 2011 road world champion said.

"The green jersey in the Tour de France every year is what my whole career goes around."

On his British road race success, he added: “To wear a jersey for a year, to represent my country as the champion, that's a massive honour.

"Hopefully I'll do it proud and show that Great Britain is a dominant force in cycling."

As with the Giro d’Italia, where Cavendish won the red points jersey, Omega Pharma-Quick Step has built its nine-man team to deliver the former Team Sky rider’s aspirations.

"We have a strong team at the Tour de France,” said Rolf Aldag, the team's Sport and Development Manager.

“The team will be built mainly around Mark Cavendish. Cav is there to try and win stages, and of course one of the big goals of Mark is to go for the yellow jersey on the first day.

“This is something he missed for the moment — he has worn yellow before, but never after the first stage of the Tour. Mark will be able to count on the same lead out of the Giro d'Italia.”