Mark Cavendish will not be aiming for the stage win or yellow jersey in Saturday?s opening stage of the Tour de France.

The leg from Brest to Plumelec finishes with a tough 1.7-kilometre climb to the finishing line.

?I will sit up at the bottom of the climb,? said the Team Columbia sprinter. ?I?m not aiming for the yellow jersey or the white jersey this year. I don?t care how much time I lose that day, I will save as much energy as I can for the days when I can do well.?

Instead, Kim Kirchen, George Hincapie and Gerald Ciolek are the team?s hopes for that opening stage.

Cavendish has identified four stages in the opening eight days of the race that he feels he has a realistic chance of winning.

They are, stage two to St Brieuc, stage three to Nantes, stage five to Châteauroux and stage eight to Toulouse.

A string of high finishes may put him in with a shout of wearing the green jersey, something his shoe sponsor, Nike, has prepared for, with a special pair of green shoes.

If Ciolek were to win stage one, it may present the dilemma of who should go for the second stage. ?We?ll worry about that if it happens. If he?s going better than me, I?ll help him.?

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Sports journalist Lionel Birnie has written professionally for Sunday Times, Procycling and of course Cycling Weekly. He is also an author, publisher, and co-founder of The Cycling Podcast. His first experience covering the Tour de France came in 1999, and he has presented The Cycling Podcast with Richard Moore and Daniel Friebe since 2013. He founded Peloton Publishing in 2010 and has ghostwritten and published the autobiography of Sean Kelly, as well as a number of other sports icons.