Mark Cavendish eyeing Paris-Roubaix success in 2018

Manx sprinter believes he has the ‘physical capabilities’ for high placing in the Hell of the North

Mark Cavendish at the 2016 Paris-Roubaix (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Mark Cavendish has said that he is keen to target a top-10 finish on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix ahead of the cobbled stage nine of next year’s Tour de France.

“I’d absolutely like to ride it [Paris-Roubaix] again, the race was cool and I get the opportunity with Team Dimension Data so I’m looking forward to it,” Cavendish said.

>>> Mark Cavendish unveils 2018 Dimension Data team kit

When pushed on whether he could produce a top-10 finish or even better, he claimed that it was “well within his physical capabilities”.

It wouldn’t be the only time that Cavendish would tackle the pavé next season, with the Tour de France including cobbles during stage nine.

With several Classics specialists likely to be put to work for GC leaders, it’s a stage Cavendish feels he could perform well on.

“It does suit the group of guys that we will have around me, so it’ll definitely be the goal to do a good ride but to think it is easy to go out and win just one stage is crazy. It is still the Tour de France,” he said.

One of the team-mates that will be responsible for shepherding the Manxman across France next year is new Belgian signing Julien Vermote, who joins Dimension Data from Quick Step Floors.

“He’s a wicked guy and a really good friend of mine, I’m really happy he’s come to the team and I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to see him grow into the big rider that he is now. He is strong, intelligent and has a lot of respect within the peloton, which is a great thing,” Cavendish said.

After a disappointing 2017 that was stunted by illness and a broken shoulder at the Tour de France, he finished on a high note with victory in the staged Saitama criterium race ahead of Japanese riders Fumiyuki Beppu and Yusuke Hatanaka.

He will now focus solely on the road after confirming that his track season finished at last month’s London Six Day.

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