CORSICA. Mark Cavendish has targeted wearing the yellow jersey and winning the green points one at the Tour de France, which starts in Corsica on Saturday.
The Manxman will wear the race leader’s yellow jersey for the first time if he wins stage one and a victory would help his quest to win a second green jersey.
“To wear yellow for a day would be massive for my career,” he said.
But he added: “The green jersey is what I chase in the Tour de France every year. It’s what my career goes around.”
Cavendish will get the opportunity to claim the yellow jersey because the first stage is a sprint finish for the first time in almost 50 years.
The 28-year-old goes into the race in good form after being crowned Britain’s national road race champion for the first time.
The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider will initially race in the white British champion’s jersey with red and blue bands.
“To wear the jersey for a year, to represent my country as the champion, that’s a massive honour,” he said
“Hopefully I’ll do it proud and show that Great Britain is a dominant force in cycling.”
Cavendish won the Giro d’Italia’s red jersey in May to join an elite group of five riders to have won the points classification on each of the three Grand Tours (the third being the Vuelta a Espana).
However, only Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, in 1994, has won most points in both the Tour and Giro in the same year and Cavendish is aware of the threat posed by Peter Sagan, who in 2012 won the points jersey that Cavendish claimed in 2011.
The Briton has the speed to beat Sagan in a straight sprint, but the Slovakian is a better climber and could target intermediate sprint points and wins on hillier stages.
Cavendish has won 23 Tour de France stages, the most of any active rider and fourth on the all-time list behind Eddy Merckx, who has 34, Bernard Hinault’s tally of 28 and Andre Leducq’s 25.
He abandoned his debut Tour on stage eight in 2007 but won four the following year, six in 2009, five in 2010 and 2011, and three in 2012, however he is not focusing on overhauling the trio of riders above him in the record books.
One record Cavendish does have his eye on is that of most final-stage wins, after equalling Merckx’s record of four when he won on the Champs Elysees in Paris in 2012.
“I know the finish well and, yes, I’m going for the fifth one,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.” Britain’s Chris Froome is favourite to win the overall title in the three-week race.