After a tough first week, Mark Cavendish admits he's looking forward to less stress and more suffering as the Tour de France hits the mountains

As the Tour de France enters the Pyrenees, sprinter Mark Cavendish admits he’s looking forward to the upcoming mountain stages and just suffering through them.

After a week of hectic racing, with Cavendish in the hunt for stage wins on three occasions, the Manxman says the stress of the first nine days will subside and the suffering will set in.

With slim pickings on offer to the sprinters between now and the Champs-Elysees, Cavendish may have to get through 11 more stages before he has the chance to increase his Tour win tally.

“In a strange way, I’m looking forward to the next mountainous half of the Tour de France to ‘relax’. Not the legs of course, just the head. I’m looking forward to just suffering,” Cavendish said in his blog on the Etixx-Quick-Step website.

“No need to ride 200km with my fingers slightly contracted over my brake levers. No need to ride 200km with my elbow constantly touching someones hip. No need to ride 200km with Brian Holm telling us to stay at the front after we’ve just passed a roundabout on the wrong side and lost 60 positions.”

In the midst of the Tour de France media circus, Cavendish says he asked the Etixx press officer if he could write a blog rather than speak to reporters.

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In doing so, the Manxman shone some light into his daily routine, although most of it seems a little banale.

“I’ve been talking into microphones for over a week now, about my ups and downs, my teams ups and downs, my competitors ups and downs, even ups and downs of riders who aren’t at the race.

“And writing this gives me some relief from the “particular” things I do. Instead I’d almost certainly be doing 1 of the following: tidying my suitcase, turning my handlebars two or three degrees, raising or lowering my saddle a couple of millimeters, or telling my masseur that my feet still don’t feel parallel to one another.”

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