Cycling: Cavendish targets green jersey

On 10 occasions in his four-year career, Mark Cavendish has celebrated a Tour de France stage win.

Now, 12 months after completing the Tour for the first time with victory on the Champs-Elysées, Cavendish is aiming for the green jersey awarded to the points classification champion.

The 25-year-old from the Isle of Man will put all of his energies into the event's sprint stages – of which there are a probable six and up to a possible nine depending on how the race unfolds – aiming to win as many as he can.

Cavendish is the favourite to take the maillot vert, but he has endured a difficult period since finishing 10 points behind Thor Hushovd in the 2009 Tour.

"All the time it's always been about moving up the ladder," said Cavendish of his career to date. "Now I'm at the top all I can do is fall. Now there's everyone trying to pull me back. It's hard to shake them off."

Cavendish will begin his campaign when the Tour starts in Rotterdam on Saturday, aiming for his biggest reward as a cyclist on 25 July in Paris.

As for the overall title, the yellow jersey, Cavendish agrees it is Alberto Contador's to lose. "Yes, especially how he was going at the Dauphiné Libéré,"Cavendish said. "I think it will be a good race. It should be an exciting Tour."