Mark Cavendish is in a 'must win' situation to take the Tour de France's green jersey. His next chance comes tomorrow, the last of three possible sprint stages.
"We can't go and try to collect every point on the road, that's not realistic," said HTC-Columbia's sports director, Rolf Aldag, "The main goal is try to win stages and then the jersey comes or it doesn't."
After a rough start to the Tour de France, Cavendish won two stages and seems to be back up to the winning ways that gained him a remarkable six stage wins last year. However, time is running out for Cavendish to make up his 39-point deficit to leader Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam), who leads by 124 to 85.
"If Cav wins and Thor doesn't do anything, then that's the only way we can be back in the game. It's not going to happen if Cav wins and Thor gets fourth."
Organisers award 35 points for the win and the following points for second through 25th: 30, 26, 24, 22, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. In addition to Hushovd's win at Arenberg, he has consistently finished in the top places for points.
Cavendish survived the last stages through the Jura and Alpine mountains and he is now ready for the challenge.
"I had some great guys around me and I could draw you an image of Bernie Eisel's calves right now - I've seen a lot of them in the last few days. It was just about getting through it," said Cavendish this morning.
He said that he is aiming for a win in tomorrow 184.5-kilometre stage to Bourg-Les-Valence.
"It's the first sprint day for a few days and we'll do our best for a win."
Aldag added that Cavendish will also try on the stages to Bordeaux and Paris, the last two chances for sprinters. Even without more wins, though, he said that Cavendish should be satisfied.
"Any other rider would be happy with only one stage in the Tour. He already has won two, so it cannot be considered a disaster."
Cavendish started the Tour de France with the goal to win the green jersey, but with Aldag he had to re-assess after missing out in the first sprint stages. Regardless of winning the green jersey, they will re-focus after the Tour de France and aim for the rainbow jersey at the World Championships on October 3 in Geelong, Australia.
Tour de France 2010: Latest news
Wiggins to aim for Tour de France stage win?
Dan Lloyd battles on in Tour despite groin strain
Bradley Wiggins: Tour rest day conference
Evans faces rough ride in yellow
Riis secures replacement sponsor but Shleck in doubt
Tour de France 2010: rest day review (July 12)
Armstrong's Tour de France dream ends
Sky's objective clear ahead of Tour's high mountains
The Feed Zone (July 10): Tour de France news and views
Thomas: 'Yellow jersey would be unbelievable
Analysis: The role of Renshaw
Cavendish strikes back in Tour de France
Thomas happy with Tour's white jersey; but says 'All for Brad'
Wiggins crashes on Tour stage start
Cavendish and Farrar return to top
Cavendish keeps up fight for first Tour win
Sky delivers Boasson Hagen to third without pressure
Tour de France 2010: Stage reports
Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head
Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour's white
Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up
Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour
Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims
Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC
Stage three live coverage: As it happened
Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa
Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters
Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win
Tour de France 2010: Photos
Stage nine photo gallery
Stage eight photo gallery
Tour 2010 wallpaper
Stage seven photo gallery
Stage six photo gallery
Stage five photo gallery
Stage four photo gallery
Stage three photo gallery
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one gallery
Prologue photo gallery
Tour de France 2010: Videos
Stage nine video highlights
Stage eight video highlights
Stage seven video highlights
Stage six video highlights
Stage five video highlights
Stage four video highlights
Stage three video highlights
Stage two video highlights
Stage one video highlights
Prologue video highlights
Tour de France 2010: Race guide
Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
Official start list, with race numbers
Brits at the Tour 2010
Tout team guide
Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins
Tour de France 2010: Pictures
Tour team presentation, Rotterdam
Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1