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Mark Cavendish targets stage wins at Tour de Yorkshire

Dimension Data rider returns to racing tomorrow, six weeks after breaking rib at Milan-San Remo

Mark Cavendish says he is targeting stage wins at the Tour de Yorkshire, which begins tomorrow, as he returns to racing after recovering from a broken rib sustained in a crash at Milan-San Remo in March.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4, the Dimension Data rider said: "There are sprint opportunities on the first day and the third day I will be looking to make the most of.”


Tomorrow’s opening stage starts in Beverley and finishes in Barnsley where a bunch sprint is expected, while Friday’s Stage 2 sees the first summit finish in the four editions of the race at the Cow and Calf Rocks on Ilkley Moor.

Saturday’s Stage 3 runs from Richmond to Scarborough, while Sunday’s fourth and concluding stage takes the peloton from Halifax to Leeds and includes no less than 3,400 metres of climbing.

Last year’s edition was won by Dimension Data’s Serge Pauwels and Cavendish, who is riding the race for the first time, said: "We will look forward to try and defend it as a team with him.

"Yorkshire is a hard place to ride a bike,” continued Cavendish, whose mother lives in Harrogate. “Hopefully, Team Dimension Data can go and be successful over the four days."

After a 2017 season that was blighted by illness followed by injury sustained in the crash at the Tour de France that led to world champion Peter Sagan being ejected from the race, Cavendish took his first win in almost a year at the Dubai Tour in February.

In his last three races, he crashed out of both the Abu Dhabi Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico before his spectacular crash at Milan-San Remo when he hit a large bollard, sustaining a fractured rib and an ankle injury.

"I am lucky in my career,” insisted Cavendish. “I have had good luck and I have had bad luck, but I am able to ride my bike again.

"Obviously I am not in top, top condition but I am in good enough condition that I know I can go to some tough terrain around Yorkshire and be competitive."

The 32-year-old now has two children with his wife Peta Todd, who also has a son from a previous relationship, and spoke about the effect fatherhood has had on him.

"When I was younger I was doing my job for complete selfish reasons, I was doing it to be the best I could be, and I think anybody who has kids can understand your whole life mentality changes," he explained.

"You are still as determined, you are just doing it for completely different reasons and you have to make every single pedal count otherwise it is in vain," Cavendish added.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Kendalred | 6 years ago

In two minds whether to get over to Ilkley for stage 2 tomorrow. I had planned to drive part way, then cycle into Ilkley, but I had wanted to watch both the womens race and the mens race coming in, but given the finishes are scheduled to be approx 5.5-6 hours appart, then not sure I can be arsed to hang around for that length of time.

Might just watch the women finish, then get home and watch the mens race on TV.

BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago

Wish I could get back up, the first stage is held on routes I used to cycle as a teen and my very first audax/brevet populaire.

Hope Cav can get some valuable time in the saddle and maybe even sneak a win.

HarrogateSpa | 6 years ago

Stage 1 is Beverley to Doncaster, not Beverley to Barnsley.

mingmong replied to HarrogateSpa | 6 years ago

HarrogateSpa wrote:

Stage 1 is Beverley to Doncaster, not Beverley to Barnsley.


Had me worried there for a minute.  Thought I'd booked the wrong day off!

Woldsman replied to HarrogateSpa | 6 years ago

HarrogateSpa wrote:

Stage 1 is Beverley to Doncaster, not Beverley to Barnsley.

Indeed. One sometimes gets the impression that writers at spend rather too much of their time in the south of our country. 

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