Tour de France 2013: I will go all guns blazing for first yellow jersey vows Mark Cavendish

The first stage is relatively flat

Mark Cavendish is relishing the prospect of wearing the Tour de France's famous yellow jersey for the first time. The opening stage of this year's tour, in Corsica on Saturday, is likely to finish with a sprint. So, for the first time since 1966, a sprinter could well be the first to wear the leader's jersey. Cavendish has done so at the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana but never at the Tour.

"There's a chance for me to wear the yellow jersey," said Cavendish last night. "And for all the other sprinters it's a first opportunity for a sprinter to wear the yellow jersey since the 1960s. So it's going to be all guns blazing there. It's going to be exciting and hopefully I can wear that jersey.

"I wore the leader's jersey at the Giro d'Italia but I haven't worn the yellow jersey and I'd like to do that. But there is a strong group of sprinters this year, so it's definitely not going to be easy, especially at this stage of the tour."

The fact that the opening stage, starting in Porto Vecchio and ending in Bastia, is a relatively flat 213km (132 miles) course gives Cavendish a decent chance of success – unlike the time-trial prologues of most recent Tours. The Manxman, speaking last night in central London, admitted that his preparation had been geared towards that goal.

"History has showed that normally it takes me a few days to get into the Tour – not at the Giro this year but before that; it normally takes me a few days. But I've altered my training to go well on the first stage here and that's a big, big goal," he said.

This will be Cavendish's first tour with his new team Omega Pharma-Quick Step, which he feels is more conducive to his winning stages than with Team Sky was last year, though he won three then. He won the points classification at this year's Giro d'Italia, taking five stages, including the first, which briefly gave him the Giro leader's pink jersey.

"The team is motivated, the team is built around stage wins," Cavendish said. "So we'll go for it. But we'll show the Tour de France the respect it deserves; nothing is a given. It won't be easy. It's the highlight of the majority of riders' seasons – the majority of riders' careers – so we'll see what happens."

Though he is thrilled about the start of this year's Tour, Cavendish said he was looking forward to the more familiar start of the 2014 race. "Corsica, it's a bit of a pain to get to. But it will be worth it when we start on Saturday," he said. "Next year it's starting in Yorkshire – that will be incredible. That's going to be a massive thing for me there, the first-stage sprint in Harrogate, my mum's home town."

The new British champion would not be drawn, though, on the overall contest for 2013 Tour winner. "I couldn't give a toss about the others going for the yellow jersey," Cavendish joked. "The easier they go, the better it is for me. I've just got 21 days, seven opportunities for sprints, and hopefully win as many of them as I can."

* Britain's Brian Cookson has pledged to establish an independent body to manage anti-doping if he is elected president of the International Cycling Union (UCI). Cookson, president of British Cycling since 1996, also promised that an investigation into allegations the UCI helped cover up doping would be completed within the first six months of his presidency. "The most important challenge for the next president is to address the way cycling deals with doping," the 62-year-old said in Paris yesterday.

Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

Teaching Assistant

£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments