Mark Cavendish targets Tour de France yellow jersey in Saturday's opening stage

Last Updated: 28/06/13 5:33pm

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Mark Cavendish: The Isle of Man rider has 23 Tour de France stage wins to his name

Mark Cavendish: The Isle of Man rider has 23 Tour de France stage wins to his name

Sky Bet

Mark Cavendish is determined to claim the yellow jersey in the opening stage of the Tour de France on Saturday.

The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider won his first senior British title in Glasgow on Sunday - earning him the right to wear the white jersey with red and blue bands for the next 12 months.

But he hopes to be wearing those colours for just the opening stage of the Tour on Saturday - a 213km trek from Porto Vecchio to Bastia - where a 24th career stage win would put him in the maillot jaune for Sunday's second stage.

It is almost 50 years since the last sprint opportunity to claim the yellow jersey and Cavendish is determined to capitalise on his chance.

"It's a big, big goal and a huge motivation for a team built around stage wins," said Cavendish, who could also get an opportunity in 2014, when the opening Yorkshire Tour stage finishes in Harrogate.

"It's a strong group of sprinters this year. To get a win won't be easy, especially in the first stage of the Tour.

"History has showed it normally takes me a few days to get into a Grand Tour. Not at the Giro this year, but before that.

"I've altered my training to be able to go well in that first stage. We'll go for it, but you have to show the Tour de France respect - nothing's a given. We'll try our best and see what happens.

"Physiologically I can't win the yellow jersey; I can't go away and practice climbing.

"The biggest goal for me every year is the green jersey. I was lucky to win it after a few attempts in 2011.

"It really is what my whole year is built around. There's other races that I target, but the green jersey in the Tour de France every year is what my whole career goes around."

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