News: Cavendish on Riding the TDF

Mark Cavendish: “I know that I am in good shape. I’ve raced against most of the sprinters and beat most of the sprinters here a week ago. That gives me confidence,”

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News: Cavendish on Riding the TDF

Mark Cavendish: “When is my Tour de France successful? It’s already a dream to be here; not so much in the Tour de France, but in the Tour de France with Deceuninck-Quick-Step”

“Eighty percent of the peloton dreams of participating in the Tour de France with this team. If someone had said a year ago that I would be here, I really wouldn’t have believed it, even though I have quite a bit of faith in my own abilities. I’m already happy because I know that with this team we have the best chances to be successful. Julian (Alaphilippe) has already ridden a number of times in yellow in recent years, Kasper (Asgreen) won Flanders of course.”

“We can be strong all through the event,” Cavendish said.

On being selected, he says “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t surprised. I was actually prepared for every scenario. There wasn’t much on the program for me except for the Tour. There is almost no racing this month. You prepare for each scenario in the month before the Tour, just in case something happens. We’re pros, so you should be able to be ready at any time. It’s your job, you get paid for it. That’s why I wanted my fitness to be good, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised.”

Sprint stages: “It is known that I was called up at the last minute. I hadn’t specifically prepared for the Tour de France. Yet I know that I am in good shape. I’ve raced against most of the sprinters and beat most of the sprinters here a week ago. That gives me confidence, but I have even more confidence in the lads around me. Unlike with my previous teams, I am a bit left to my own devices. The pressure is mainly on the others, not on me. I want to give it my all and know that if we stick to the plan, we will have the best cards of all to win a sprint.”
Fougeres and Chateauroux are the stages Cav is especially looking forward to where he has already won. “It’s nice to look at the Tour de France with a sense of romance, you have to give the race the respect it deserves. It doesn’t matter where the start or the finish is. You have to look at the race as a target and then try to be successful.”

He will be assisted by the experienced Michael Mørkøv. “I’ve known him for twenty years, we are the same age and raced together when we were schoolboys. We also raced on track together and had talked about being teammates before. Actually, I wanted to have him here when I was with the team last time. It’s unbelievable to have the chance to ride with him. Like Mark Renshaw, he’s the opposite of me. He stays so calm. It’s great to be in the wheel with him.”

Stage Win Record: About the record of 34 stage victories by Eddy Merckx, Cavendish is not feeling the pressure. “It does not matter. I would give the same answer when I started, the same answer as long as I cycle. I won thirty stages myself, but I know how hard it is to win a stage in the Tour. A stage in the Tour makes a rider’s entire career. So if I don’t win now, so be it. If I’m good enough to win another 50 stages, then so be it.”

“It’s not important. I just try to perform as well as possible.”

Team manager Patrick Lefevere is looking forward to Cavendish’s return to the Tour. “He has had a long love-hate relationship with the Tour, but after the great Eddy Merckx, he is the one who won the most stages. He has come to us after a turbulent year; all the races he wanted to do were cancelled. We put him in the Baloise Belgium Tour last minute, instead of Bennett. And now we called him again last minute. He’s like a great substitute, coming in in the 89th minute and scoring the winning goal.”


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