Mark Cavendish is looking forward to his support role at the world championships in Florence this week after being the headline act at the Tour of Britain.
Cavendish claimed his third stage win of this year’s Tour of Britain on Sunday, taking his tally in the race to 10 wins since 2007. Now the 2011 world road race champion will be part of the Great Britain team which on Sunday will bid to help Tour de France winner Chris Froome become the first man to win the yellow jersey and rainbow jersey in the same year since Greg LeMond in 1989.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Cavendish said. “I’ve based my training in the last month around going well at the world championships. I think he [Froome] has got a super good chance. We’re going in with that plan. If we didn’t think he had a really good chance, we’d be going in with more than one plan.
“We’re going with just one plan and that’s to set Chris up,” he added. “It’s a hard course, he’s in good form, he’s won the Tour de France and we’ve got eight guys. We’re in a good position to try to challenge for the win.”
Froome, last year’s Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins and Cavendish are joined in the squad by Geraint Thomas, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, Ian Stannard, Josh Edmondson and Steve Cummings. If successful, Froome would become the third Briton to win the road race world title, after Tom Simpson in 1965 and Cavendish two years ago in Copenhagen.
The Danish course was suited to sprinters, whereas the Tuscany route is a challenging one where only the strongest will prosper.
Cavendish believes the Tour of Britain is ideal preparation for the world championships and hopes to return time and again. “I’d like to, it’s getting bigger,” he said. “It’s actually looking like quite a good race to prepare for the world championships now.
“I did this race before I won the world championships and just seeing the amount of people out, it’s near on a certainty it’s going to grow in terms of UCI ranking.
“I have a great relationship with the organisers and it’s always nice to race in front of a home crowd on home roads.”