Mark Cavendish is aiming to put himself in the Tour de France leader's jersey when the race starts in Yorkshire this July.
Speaking at his Omega Pharma-QuickStep team's final pre-season get together in Calpe, Spain, Cavendish said that he can't wait to take on the 2014 Tour in front of home crowds, and use his local knowledge of Harrogate to take the opening stage win.
"It's the second time in my career that it starts in the UK," said Cavendish. "In 2007 when it started in London, cycling wasn't even popular and the amount of people out watching the race was incredible. So with the profile of cycling in the UK now, I think with the Tour de France starting there again it will be beyond words.
"I'm super excited, especially with the first stage finishing in my mother's hometown of Harrogate. The finishing straight is a straight I know very well. I spent a lot of time there as a child and hopefully it provides a bunch sprint. I'd like a chance to win the yellow jersey. I haven't yet worn that."
Cavendish's sprint support at Omega Pharma-QuickStep has been bolstered at the end of 2013 with the appointment of Alessandro Petacchi and old Highroad lead-out man Mark Renshaw. Renshaw rejoins Cavendish after a spell at Rabobank.
"I'm also super excited to have Mark Renshaw back for my leadouts," said Cavendish. "He's a really good friend of mine and one of the most gifted leadout men in the peloton."
Team manager Patrick Lefevre added: "Mark Cavendish is in his second year with OPQS, so he knows the riders and the team he has around him. He will once again be a leader of the team and for sure he is ready to have another great season after an already outstanding 2013."
Cavendish will start his 2014 season at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina from January 20.
Mark Cavendish hopes to swap British champion's colours to yellow in July
Cavendish with Tony Martin
Cavendish chats to team-mates in Spain
Cavendish to start 2014 season in Tour de San Luis
Thank you for reading 5 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
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
Commonwealth Games 2022 preview: the men’s and women’s road race
Both races will take place on Sunday 7 August in the town of Warwick
By Tom Thewlis • Published
Wahoo Powrlink Zero dual-sided power meter pedals - long-term review
Six months after they were launched, the lollipop-shaped power meter pedals are running as sweetly as ever
By Simon Smythe • Published