Mark Cavendish heads to the Netherlands tomorrow for the start of the Ster Elektrotoer five-day stage race, but his thoughts are now turning to London and the Tour de France.

The 22 year-old T-Mobile sprinter was never supposed to be in the German team?s Tour squad this year, but after five wins the team?s hand has been forced, and they?ve now told Cavendish to train in the coming weeks as if he is going.

T-Mobile wont announce their final Tour line-up until after the finish of the Tour of Switzerland this coming Sunday, but Cavendish is now in with a real chance of making it. If he does start the three-week race, he would only be expected to make it through the first ten days.

His British team mate Roger Hammond is also in the running for a Tour place, and if they both make it to London on July 7th, there could be six Brits in the race, the most since 1987 when the ANC Halfords team rode.

Cavendish has set himself the target of eight wins this season ? to match Robbie McEwen?s first year tally ? and could add to his palmares at the Ster Elektrotoer race that?s a favourite with the fastmen.

Not that he?ll have it all his own way. His team mates Gerald Ciolek and Bernard Eisel (who recently won two rounds of the Triple Crown in America) will be with him, and, according to Cavendish, whoever has the best form will get the support of the other two.



From - To

PrologueTuesday June 19Schijndel7.6km
Stage 1Wednesday June 20Schijndel - Nuth166km
Stage 2Thursday June 21Aachen - Valkenburg194km
Stage 4Friday June 22Verviers ? La Gileppe192km
Stage 4Friday June 23Sittard/Geleen - Eindhoven149km

Total length ? 708.6km

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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers. 

Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!


Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace

TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars

Gravel bike: N/A

Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel