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Cavendish relishing his chance to enhance Tour record

By Staff Reporter

Mark Cavendish believes his build-up to the Tour de France has been ideal. The 30-year-old from the Isle of Man has won 25 Tour stages in his previous eight appearances at the race, but finished the 2014 edition on the Tarmac on the opening stage in Yorkshire.

Cavendish had hoped to win the fabled yellow jersey for the first time in his career 12 months ago in his mother's hometown of Harrogate, but instead suffered a separated shoulder which required an operation and ended his race.

Now, the Etixx-QuickStep sprinter is gearing up for the Tour, which begins on Saturday in Utrecht, Holland, with designs on adding to a tally which already places him third behind Eddy Merckx's record of 34 stage wins.

Bernard Hinault lies second on the list with 28, meaning Cavendish could overtake his record this year.

"I normally base my season around being good in July, so I've done everything right," Cavendish said.

Cavendish showed his versatility and race craft in placing second to fellow Manxman Pete Kennaugh at last weekend's British Championships road race in Lincoln.

The pair are two of 10 British riders competing in this year's Tour, the most since 1955.

"I had a good ride on Sunday at the national championships. That was my last hit-out and I felt good," added Cavendish before leaving for Holland.

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