Mark Cavendish about olympics

July 18, 2008 at 9:39 am Leave a comment

Mark Cavendish believes fatigue from competing in the Tour de France will not affect his Olympics preparations.

The 23-year-old became the first Briton since Barry Hoban in 1973 to win two stages of the Tour and hopes to complete the gruelling three-week race.

“Whether I get to Paris we will see but I’ve got no plans to stop just yet,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I’ll try for as long as possible. My Olympic event isn’t until 19 August – three and a half weeks after the Tour.”

Cavendish will team up with Bradley Wiggins in the madison in Beijing having won gold at this year’s world championships in Manchester.

The Isle of Man rider has followed up his track success by winning the fifth and eighth stages of the Tour, helping Team Columbia to a share of second in the team standings in the process.

Cavendish, as a professional road cyclist for the past 18 months, is in his element riding the world’s biggest race.

He agreed with Hoban, the man whose record of stage wins for a Briton he could beat over the coming years, who believes the Tour is a far bigger priority than the Olympics for the riders.

“The Olympics is really a very small item in the career of a professional racing cyclist,” said Hoban, 68, who rode 12 Tours and won eight stages between 1969 and 1973.

“The Tour is the ultimate thing, like the Premier League, the FA Cup and the World Cup all rolled into one.

“In all other races riders are using them for preparation. In the Tour no-one is preparing for anything. It is like the Olympics but every year.”

Like Cavendish, Hoban was a sprinter who was regularly in the top six of the points competition, a target he believes is a realistic target for the Manxman.

“Mark is not the type of rider who can win the Tour,” Hoban told 5 Live. “He has got a big handicap in that his climbing is not very good.

“But if he can improve on that then the green jersey for the points classification is definitely a possibility.”

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