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.

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executives - Outbound & Inbound

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Recruitment Genius: National Account Manager / Key Account Sales

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Consultant

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'