Cavendish still hunting Paris win
Olympic gold in London is Mark Cavendish's ultimate goal this season but the Briton is still focused for now on unfinished business at the Tour de France.
The world road race champion has triumphed for the last three years in the Tour's final stage and a fourth success on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday is very much in his mind.
"For me, it's the most beautiful boulevard in the world, it's an iconic avenue. If you ask any person in the world what's the most famous finish of a bike race, it's a bunch finish on the Champs Elysees," Cavendish told reporters at his hotel in Pau on the Tour de France rest day on Tuesday.
"It's a very difficult sprint to win, it's almost as important as a world championship for a sprinter."
A fourth victory on the famous Parisian avenue would surpass Belgium's Eddy Merckx, the only other rider to have won three Tour stages in Paris, while he would equal French sprinter Andre Darrigade with 22 stage victories. Merckx won 34 in his illustrious career.
"It would be nice to get 22 in Paris and to finish that off," said Cavendish, winner of the second stage in Tournai but out of contention this year for the green jersey awarded to the Tour's best sprinter.
The Briton knows that he can count on the full support of his Team Sky team mates, starting with yellow jersey holder Bradley Wiggins who holds a lead of over two minutes over fellow Britain and team mate Chris Froome.
"We'll do that for Mark anyway. Mark has done something in Paris these last few years," Wiggins said.
"It's a natural stage for us to commit 100 percent for knowing that the GC (general classification) is normally finished at that stage. It's always been on the cards that we'd finish the job out there."
With a full team entirely at his service in the past, Cavendish has been in the awkward position of being an outside priority for Team Sky in this Tour.