LONDON, Oct 29, 2012 (AFP) – British rider Mark Cavendish said in an
interview published on Monday that he hopes to end the opening stage of next
year’s 100th Tour de France in the race leader’s coveted yellow jersey.
“I’ve worn the leader’s jersey in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana, so
it would be nice to complete the set,” the former world champion, who at the
end of this season leaves Team Sky for Omega Pharma-Quickstep, told The Times
Cavendish, 27, has won 23 stages on the Tour de France and will wear the
Belgian team’s colors when cycling’s most celebrated race visits the
Mediterranean island of Corsica for the first time next year.
The flat 212km run from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia on June 29 is seen as
perfect for sprinters such as Cavendish, who in 2011 was the world road race
champion and has won the final Tour stage on the Champs Elysees for the last
four years in succession.
Cavendish told the daily that next year’s Tour will show “every good
aspect” of cycling, which is battling to recover from the fall-out of the
Lance Armstrong doping scandal that has shattered its reputation.
The Isle of Man rider, however, echoed the views of his current team-mate
and compatriot, 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, by saying it was
unfair to imply that all professional cyclists took banned substances.
“Since I turned pro, I’ve not seen anything that suggests it’s (cycling’s)
not clean. I’m riding clean and winning the biggest bike races in the world
and I’m actually not that good,” he was quoted as saying.
“So, if I’m winning clean then people can’t be cheating,” he said, adding
that any current rider who doped would now be found out.