CAVENDISH OPTIMISTIC ABOUT TOUR START AFTER SIXTH SEASON WIN
Mark Cavendish virtually sealed his place in the T-Mobile team for the Tour de France on Saturday after winning the final stage of the Ster Elektrotoer in Holland on Saturday. It was his sixth victory of the season.
"Barring illness or accident, I think I'll be going. I've been named in a short-list of 13 already." Cavendish told CW. "I'm still waiting for the official confirmation, though."
Cavendish's sixth victory of the year so far came when he beat Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step), Robert Forster (Gerolsteiner) and Fabrizio Guidi (Barloworld) in the sprint at Eindhoven after 149km of racing. The overall was won by Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank).
"I wanted to win today to prove that I was good enough, that Wednesday [where Cavendish took fourth] was just a glitch because I was tired from all that travelling." Cavendish had started the stage race after a hectic travel schedule which left the 22-year-old running on empty.
As on Wednesday, Cavendish received a perfect lead-out, with the whole team collobarating and then amateur World Champ Gerald Ciolek leaving him on the front with 150 metres to go.
"This time round, there wasn't any kind of problem. In fact I've been getting stronger all week, which is what I wanted to check. Now after winning, I know."
"There weren't such big names here as there have been in other races I've won, but what matters is getting first across that line whoever's there."
The final T-Mobile line-up for the Tour will be announced on Monday, with Roger Hammond also in contention for a place in the team after working hard and showing solid form in the Tour of Switzerland.