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Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Monday, 1 June 2009 17:47 UK

Cavendish eyes Tour sprint crown

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Cavendish targets Tour de France finish

Mark Cavendish hopes to banish the disappointment of withdrawing from the last year's Tour de France by targeting the green jersey in this year's event.

If successful, Cavendish would become only the second Briton, after Robert Millar in 1984 to win a Tour jersey

"My job is to win sprints. Now I have to get the green jersey," said the Manxman, who won four stages last year.

"To win one stage of the Tour is a life-changing moment. To win four I couldn't have dreamed of it."

Cavendish is widely acknowledged as the world's fastest sprinter and he has utilised his week off after withdrawing from the Giro d'Italia late last month.

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The cyclist won three stages and afterwards rode 700 km in training, many of them in hills to prepare for the final stage to take place on the slopes of Le Mont Ventoux.

"I wanted to finish the Giro d'Italia for my own pride but in terms of what I, my sponsors and my team achieved there was no point," Cavendish said.

"If you have nothing left to achieve what sense is there to do it?

"If the last bunched sprint was in the second week and you have a green jersey to contend for you carry on," he said.

"I feel stronger. I'm no longer struggling on the mountains.

"OK, I'm never going to win a mountain stage. But I've had a winter of complete dedication to the roads. I came out lighter, leaner, fitter.

"Ventoux is going to create a spectacle, something which might change the whole outcome of the race.

"It can knock riders out. I've got to make sure I can get over that."

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see also
Team pulls Cavendish out of Giro
22 May 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish takes third Giro stage
22 May 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish and Gillings win awards
14 Apr 09 |  Other sport...
Praise for Cavendish Tour success
19 Jul 08 |  Isle of Man


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