With full details of the Tour de France 2009 race route just hours away, Mark Cavendish has confirmed that next July he will be targetting the sprinters top prize – the green jersey.
?Next year I?ll be going full on for it,? Cavendish, the winner of four stages in the Tour this year, told Cycling Weekly.
?I didn?t go for the intermediate sprints in the Tour stages last July but next summer I?ll be focussing on doing things differently, I?ll be going for them as well as going for the bunch sprints.?
?It?s the logical step for me,? Cavendish added. ?This year I got four stage wins but pulled out. Next year I want to go a step further, although I might change my mind after seeing the route tomorrow [Wednesday]!”
Already the British record holder for Tour stages wins in a single edition, should he succeed Cavendish would become the first ever rider from this country to take the green jersey.
Only one GB rider, Scotland?s Robert Millar, has ever finished on the final podium in Paris – when he took the King of the Mountains jersey back in 1984.
To that end, Cavendish has already had detailed discussions with his team about the program of races he?ll be doing next year – outlined below.
The Manxman will return to the Giro, where he won two stages this year, but only do the first half rather than completing the entire race. Then he?ll head on to a new race for him – the Tour of Switzerland, before tackling the Tour.
Other key additions to Cavendish program in his third year as a pro are Milan-San Remo – the sprinters’ Classic – and Paris-Roubaix. He?ll also be making his season?s debut in another new race for him, the Tour of Qatar.
Back on the Cav? plan is Ghent-Wevelgem, the Belgian Classic which Manxman rode for the first time this year, the Tour of California, and the Tour of Romandie – where Cavendish won the prologue.
?It?s an amazing program, exactly what I wanted to do, Rolf [Aldag, Columbia team manager] gave me two options of races for 2009, and this is the one I went for. I?m really pleased with it.?
?It?ll give me lots of racing without me getting too tired from overdoing it. Plus there?s races like Paris-Roubaix which I?ve always wanted to do as well, and races like Paris-Tours which I?ve never had the chance to do yet. I?m really looking forward to it all.?
Full details of Cavendish’s reaction to the Tour de France route will be published in next week’s Cycling Weekly.
Highlights of Cavendish’s 2009 race program
Tour of Qatar
Tour of California
Tirreno – Adriatico
Milan – San Remo
Tour of Romandie
Tour of Italy (first half)
Tour of Switzerland
Tour de France