Mark Cavendish unsure if Olympic training will hurt chances at Tour de France

Mark Cavendish has admitted he does not know how his training for the Olympics will affect his Tour de France hopes. Cavendish will ride for Team Dimension Data at the Tour before racing on the track, where he has spent much of the year training, for Team GB in Rio.

“I’m not coming to the Tour de France planning to stop,” Cavendish explained. “This is my 10th Tour de France start, every time I stopped, it’s been for different circumstances, so you never know the circumstances to it.”

The Isle of Man rider is third on the all-time Tour stage wins list, two behind France’s Bernard Hinault and Belgium’s Eddy Merckx, who has 34 stage victories.

Cavendish acknowledged that riding the whole Tour can take it’s toll in the weeks following the race, which he said he can’t allow to happen and impact on his Olympics.

“The thing is I was in bed for a week after the Tour de France last year,” he said. “I got sick. I know I can’t afford to do that this year.

“Definitely, though, the biggest stage in the world is the Champs-Élysées for a sprinter. I know that my eight teammates are going to do the best to get to Paris and I’m going to try to do my best to get to Paris.”

Cavendish spent all season tuning his body to be ready for his goals in the Tour and in the Olympics, however. He has popped in and out of select road and track events, including World Cups and the World Championships.

“It’s been completely different. I’ve had a pretty track [focused] build-up, I used a lot of racing to build my endurance,” he added. “I really don’t know how it will be. It could be the best thing I’ve done, it could be the worst thing I’ve done!

“I definitely made every single minute of every day count this year. I’m not coming to the Tour just to dick about, I’m coming here to represent Dimension Data and to raise awareness for Qhubeka, and get some success for my teammates.”