Cavendish hoping to banish memories

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Published: Friday 3rd July 2015 by The News Editor

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Mark Cavendish hopes to bounce back from his Harrogate horror to return to winning ways at the Tour de France.

The 30-year-old from the Isle of Man begins his ninth Tour on Saturday in Utrecht and has 25 stage wins to his name.

He is still to claim his 26th win and the race leader’s fabled yellow jersey after his pursuit on last year’s stage from Leeds to Harrogate, his mother’s home town, ended on the Tarmac and with a separated shoulder which required surgery.

“I crashed out on the first stage of last year’s Tour de France in Harrogate and I missed the race a lot,” Cavendish said.

“I was in superb form and to sit at home and watch the race wasn’t easy.

“We’ve looked at trying to come into the Tour de France in the same form I was in last year and hopefully get back to winning ways.

“I was in incredible form at the beginning of last year’s Tour and I knew if I could do the same kind of lead up to this year’s Tour then I’d be in similar condition.”

Cavendish is out of contract with Etixx-QuickStep at the end of the year and the Tour could be pivotal in determining what the future holds.

His hopes of adding to his tally improved when Marcel Kittel, whose win in Harrogate was one of eight stage successes in the last two years, was not selected by Giant-Alpecin following an illness-plagued season.

Only Eddy Merckx, with 34, and Bernard Hinault, with 28, are ahead of Cavendish in the rankings of Tour stage wins.

The Briton won four in 2008, six in 2009, five in 2010 and 2011 and three and two in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and might expect to climb above Hinault, a five-time Tour winner.

Cavendish added: “I’d like to add more than one stage.”

Published: Friday 3rd July 2015 by The News Editor

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