CAVENDISH AIMING FOR PARIS AND STAGE WINS

The Tour de France is quickly approaching and Mark Cavendish re-iterated his intention in a press conference in London this morning to finish the race.

Last year, Cavendish withdrew after winning four stages to concentrate on the Olympics, but ?I?d like to reach Paris and win as many sprints as possible,? said the Manxman.

?I?ve got to be realistic with my targets [though]. If you challenge for the green jersey, then you?ve got to take a different mentality for the race.

?I?ve always had an all or nothing mentality and so if I don?t reach Paris then it?ll be a failure. [But as far as the green jersey is concerned], if I don?t do it, I don?t do it?.

It was an interesting remark from Cavendish, perhaps trying to deflect pressure ahead of the Tour, a tactic he employed with great effect ahead of Milan-San Remo.

?I can?t afford to rest on my four stage wins in last year?s Tour, and if I did, I?m not going to do anything for the rest of my career. I never had the chance to savour those stage wins, but maybe that?s a good thing.?

Cavendish?s climbing ability has improved markedly and is now more than capable of climbing just as well, if not better, than his sprinting adversaries, a factor that could well be decisive in his assault on the green jersey.

?I?m no longer struggling to make the time limit on mountain stages,? said Cavendish. ?My training?s been different to last year and I feel stronger on the hills?.

Mark CavendishAbove: Cavendish winning one of three stages in this year?s Giro d?Italia


BROKEN WRIST FOR FLEEMAN

Dan Fleeman must have been counting his blessings after a crash at the recent Bayern-Rundfahrt left him with what he thought was a injury to his finger.

On returning to the UK however, Fleeman discovered that the hospital in Germany had failed to pick up a broken wrist on his x-rays.

Fleeman was flown to Switzerland yesterday to have the injury assessed by a specialist. It is thought that an operation could speed up the healing process from six to three weeks.

?I don’t think disappointment comes close to how I’m feeling at the moment,? said Fleeman, ?but the team have been fantastic, flying me to Switzerland to see a specialist, they’ve even booked my wife to come along for some much needed moral support.

?My main focus is to get this sorted out and then bounce back for the second half of the season.?


BIG WIN FOR BMC?S SKIPPER

BMC?s Joe Skipper took the biggest win of his young career at the weekend, winning the Eastern Regional Road Race Championship.

BMC placed five riders in the break to deliver Skipper to the final climb, where he out-sprinted Dominic Schils (Lotto-Interbike) and Duncan Urquhart (Endura RT).

“This is without doubt the biggest win of my cycling career to date,? said Skipper.

?It was tough out there with the heat and the wind, but the team did a great job and I had enough left to jump with about 100 metres to the finish. We knew that Duncan Urquhart was a real threat as he was super strong today, but we kept attacking in the final lap to try and tire him for the finish.

?It’s great, I pushed the organiser [Gino Howe] to make the race longer to 157km and I suppose I had to win after that!?


MISSING BIKE FOR BJERGFELT

Vigilantes in the West Country are urged to keep a look out after Will Bjergfelt?s (Sports Beans) bikes were stolen from his garage at the weekend.

A Willier Cento Uno (with Zipp 404s) and a Wilier Izoard, both in extra large, are missing.


CHANGE YOUR WORLD CAMPAIGN

Sustrans? ?Change Your World? campaign begins today and thousands are expected to promise to swap just one car journey between June 29 and July 4 in favour of walking, cycling, taking public transport, car-sharing or simply not making the trip at all.

If everyone in Britain made one less car journey every week it would reduce car travel by at least ten per cent, which would mean an annual saving of almost seven million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

This would be a significant step towards achieving Britain?s target to reduce emissions to at least 34 per cent below 1990 emissions by 2018-22, set by the Chancellor in April as part of the world?s first carbon budget.

?One person changing just one journey may seem like a small step. But when that person is among thousands of others, all making their own pledge to leave their cars at home, then the potential impact is huge,? said Sustrans? Chief Executive, Malcolm Shepherd.

?Individually, we can all take positive action to tackle climate change, reduce traffic congestion, and increase our activity levels. Collectively, it will make a difference.?

In 2008, around 8000 people pledged to swap a journey as part of Change Your World. Sustrans is hoping even more people will get involved this year and demonstrate that alternatives to personal car travel are a real option.

For more information, or to make a pledge, visit www.changeyourworld.org.uk

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