We continue our look at the British riders set to compete in the Tour de France when it visits west Essex and East London on Monday, July 7 by profiling a cyclist who could be set to write another chapter in what is already a great history in the race.
Professional cycling can rarely be described as predictable but if the ‘Manx Missile’ were to write a script for the first three days of ‘Le Tour’ it might read something like this: win the opening stage on Saturday, July 5 from Leeds to Harrogate, his mother’s home town, to claim the prestigious race leader’s yellow jersey for the first time in his career, at least defend it on stage two from York to Sheffield and then race close to his Ongar home en route from Cambridge to The Mall with a genuine chance of claiming another stage victory.
It may sound a tall order but the 29-year-old Omega Pharma-Quick Step cyclist’s record is among the very best the sport has ever seen.
Cavendish's achievements are too numerous to list here, but in the Tour de France alone he is the most successful sprinter the event has witnessed and goes into this year’s event third on the all-time list of stage victories.
The first Briton to win the Tour’s green jersey as the leading points rider in 2011, the former road race world champion is also the only competitor to win the showpiece final stage on the Champs-Elysees for four years in a row between 2009 and 2012.
Cavendish certainly won’t have it all his own way as he seeks the win on July 7 – fellow sprinters including Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel will see to that – but expect to see him steering clear of trouble while keeping a close eye on every move as the business-end of the stage starts to unfold through our areas.