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Page last updated at 09:45 GMT, Wednesday, 25 August 2010 10:45 UK

Mark Cavendish named in HTC-Columbia's Vuelta team

Mark Cavendish
Cavendish celebrates his fifth stage win at this year's Tour de France

Manxman Mark Cavendish has been chosen as one of HTC-Columbia's nine riders for the Tour of Spain which begins in Seville on Saturday.

The 25-year-old, who won five stages of this year's Tour de France, will be making his Vuelta debut.

"Our first goal is to get an early stage win with Mark," said HTC's sports director Tristan Hoffman.

Hoffman denied Cavendish plans to drop out before the end to focus on the road race in October's World Championships.

"He is going to the Vuelta for the first time and he is taking it very seriously," said Hoffman.


"He knows there's a lot of climbing but he did really well in the mountains in the Tour de France and he will be looking to race as strongly in September as he did in July."

The race, which was won by home rider Alejandro Valverde in 2009, finishes in Madrid on 19 September.

The 163-mile World Championships road race follows in Melbourne, Australia on 3 October.

However, Cavendish's hopes of emulating the legendary Tommy Simpson - whose 1965 win remains the only British success in the World Championships road race - have been dented by the organisers' decision to award Great Britain only three places.

His main rivals will have the support of eight other riders in their respective national teams.

A strong challenge for the green sprinter's jersey in Spain would continue Cavendish's turnaround of an initially unpromising season.

Dental problems ruined his plans to compete in February's Tour of Qatar before he suffered an apparent crisis of confidence in the early sprint stages of the Tour de France.

But he admitted earlier this year that his delayed 2010 debut may lead to a strong performance later in the season.

"What happened could end up being a blessing in disguise as it'll force me to come into form later than planned. It's a long season," he told the Independent.

HTC-Columbia team for the Tour of Spain:

Lars Bak (Den), Mark Cavendish (GB); Bernhard Eisel (Aut), Matt Goss (Aus), Hayden Roulston (NZ), Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr), Tejay Van Garderen (US), Martin Velits (Svk), Peter Velits (Svk).

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see also
Tour tougher than 2009 - Cavendish
23 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Contador seals third Tour victory
25 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Petacchi wins as Cavendish fades
07 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Cavendish delays start of season
22 Jan 10 |  Cycling

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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES PREVIEW: Wide-open Vuelta in absence of Contador - 4 hrs ago
Yahoo! UK and Ireland Eurosport Vuelta a Espana - Cavendish to make Vuelta debut - 6 hrs ago Thomas and Hunt to support Cavendish's world championship bid - 6 hrs ago
Irish Independent roche and deignan to take vuelta in stages - 11 hrs ago News: Jeremy Hunt and Geraint Thomas to help Cav's quest for World Champs glory? - 19 hrs ago


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