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

Prologue Tuesday June 19 Schijndel 7.6km
Stage 1 Wednesday June 20 Schijndel – Nuth 166km
Stage 2 Thursday June 21 Aachen – Valkenburg 194km
Stage 4 Friday June 22 Verviers ? La Gileppe 192km
Stage 4 Friday June 23 Sittard/Geleen – Eindhoven 149km

Total length ? 708.6km