PARIS, July 22, 2012 (AFP) – World champion Mark Cavendish capped a “very
successful” Tour de France for Team Sky with his fourth consecutive sprint win
on the world-famous Champs-Elysees on Sunday.
Now the Isle of Man sprinter, who took his impressive tally of stage wins to
23 and only 11 short of the absolute record held by Belgian legend Eddy Merckx
(34), is lining up his next objective — Olympic road race gold on July 28.
“I’ve had good form since the Giro d’Italia, everything’s been on target
since then and it still is. I’m looking forward to next Saturday now,” said
With Bradley Wiggins leading a British podium one-two with Chris Froome and
Sky winning six of the race’s 20 stages, the 99th edition will go down as a
landmark for British cycling.
Wiggins won both time-trials and Cavendish claimed three wins, while Froome
won stage seven to the race’s first hilltop finish.
Although there has been some speculation that Cavendish has been unhappy at
Sky because of the team’s commitment to Wiggins’ cause, on Sunday the Manxman
had only praise for his team.
“We came to win the yellow jersey, we’ve got first and second on GC
(general classification) and we’ve won six stages as a team,” said Cavendish.
“It’s been a very successful Tour for Team Sky. Maybe there would have been
more opportunities for sprints, but we won six stages here!
“We’ve raised the profile of British cycling, and it’s been an incredible
thing to be part of.
“Today, winning on the Champs-Elysees put a big, red cherry on top of a
beautifully made cake for three weeks, and it was an honor to be part of.”
Having won stage two at the start of the race, Cavendish’s two wins in the
past three days — both of which came in convincing fashion — suggest he will
be the man to beat in London on July 28.
But before he sets his sights on Olympic glory, he is savoring becoming
the first world champion to win the final Tour stage on the Champs-Elysees.
“For me this race is everything. It’s what my whole year is built towards
every year,” he said.
“It means so much to come here, wearing this jersey and do all I do for
British cycling and being part of a team that’s just won it.
“Winning on the most beautiful avenue in the world is just so special. It’s
an honor to be the first guy to wear the world champion’s jersey to do that,
and I’ll be back again to try and make it five next year.”