Mark Cavendish has said it is a dream to be called up to the Deceuninck-QuickStep squad for this year's Tour de France.
“It’s already more than a dream to be here at the Tour de France with Deceuninck-QuickStep,” he said at a pre-race press conference.
“Eighty per cent of the peloton dream of getting a start with this team and if I had sat here a year ago and thought I’d have been in this spot… I have some belief but even that I wouldn’t have believed.
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So I’m already happy because I know that with this team we’ve got the best opportunities to be successful.
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Cavendish's tally of stage wins at the Tour de France puts him behind only Eddy Merckx (34) in the all-time standings. Cavendish also became Britain's first green-jersey winner in 2011.
He won four stages at the Tour of Turkey earlier this year and then notched another stage win at the Belgium Tour after replacing Sam Bennett in the lineup.
Cavendish admits he had not fully prepared for the Tour specifically, but feels his recent form and the strength of the squad will help him greatly.
"I was a last-minute call up and I haven’t specifically prepared for the Tour de France," he said.
Mark Cavendish in Hamoir, Belgien
Image credit: Getty Images
"But I’ve raced with the majority of the sprinters and beat the majority of the sprinters who are here a week ago. That gives me confidence and gives me confidence with the lads around me.
"It’s not like how I came here with previous teams and am just left here to my own devices.
Obviously, I want to give everything and I know that if we commit to the process then we have the best shot of anyone of winning in the bunch sprints.
"I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t a surprise but I had prepared for it anyway.
"I didn’t have much coming up, there’s not much racing coming up, and theirs is a bit of a down period anyway so you might as well prepare just in case something like this happens."
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