Mark Cavendish: I know if I went to the Tour de France I would win
Mark Cavendish argued for the Tour de France’s selection to the British Championships on Sunday, both on the road and in his winner’s post-race interview.
The Manxman produced an all-action display to claim the second national road race title of his career, attacking from the opening miles before finally prevailing in a three-way sprint.
It was a clear indication of his form five days into the Tour de France, but it’s likely he won’t even be on the start line. Although he won four stages and equaled Eddy Merckx’s record of 34 last year, everything indicates that Fabio Jakobsen will take the sprinter’s place at QuickStep-AlphaVinyl.
After donning the national champion’s jersey, Cavendish was asked about the Tour, which starts in Copenhagen on Friday.
“I feel so much better than last year and you know what happened last year…I won four Tour de France stages and the green jersey,” he said.
“I’m unlikely to go to the Tour de France, so might as well use it today and at least show that the reason I’m not going to the Tour isn’t because I have bad form. “
While acknowledging her participation in the Tour as “unlikely”, Cavendish nevertheless explained that she had not been definitively excluded, and that things are still up in the air.
“I didn’t get a call from the team one way or the other. I don’t know. Normally you get a call saying you’re going or not going, but this time and I got nothing, so I’m trying to stay optimistic with that. But we’ll see,” he said.
As if his performance on the roads of Scotland hadn’t been clear enough, he left no doubt as to how he sees both his form and what he could offer on the Tour.
“You can see my condition, that I’m good enough to do the Tour. I know if I went there I would win [a stage],” he said.
“I know other guys on the team that would go in there would win. And I would just be happy with anything.”
And yet, the desire is clearly there. In another telling comment, Cavendish referenced the historic feat that was within reach.
“Can you imagine winning a 35th stage of the Tour de France in the jersey of British champion. It would be really wonderful. Those photos would be there forever.