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Page last updated at 15:07 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Cyclist Mark Cavendish starts 2010 season in Spain

Mark Cavendish
Cavendish became the first Brit to win on the Champs-Elysees in 2009

Isle of Man cyclist Mark Cavendish will begin his 2010 season at the Ruta del Sol event in Spain on Sunday.

The Team HTC Columbia sprinter had delayed the start of his season because of an ongoing dental problem.

The 24-year-old won six Tour de France stages and the Milan-San Remo Classic last year to confirm his status as one of the world's leading sprinters.

The Manxman has been nominated in the breakthrough of the year category at the 2010 Laureus World Sport Awards.

Cavendish missed the recent Tour of Qatar with a tooth abscess but HTC Columbia team boss Rolf Aldag said it will be business as usual.

"His season goals remain the same and he is looking forward to performing as planned in major spring races like Milan-San Remo and Flanders before his focus shifts toward the stage racing," Aldag said.

Cavendish, who became the first British rider to win the final stage of the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, is hoping to become the first Briton to win the green points jersey in this year's race.

He won six stages last year, to take his career tally to 10, as he finished 10 points adrift of Norway's Thor Hushovd in the race for the green jersey.

He is also targeting at least one stage win on each of the other Grand Tours, in Italy and Spain.

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