• London Olympics 2012

Cav: It won't be my best Tour

ESPN staff
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Mark Cavendish claimed the green jersey at last year's Tour de France © Getty Images
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Mark Cavendish admits he is ready to hold back a little at the Tour de France in order to give himself the best chance of success at London 2012.

Cavendish's bid for Olympic road race gold will come just six days after he finishes the Tour de France, and managing the demands of both represents a significant challenge.

The 'Manx Missile', who won the green jersey at the Tour de France last year, has altered his training regime, and lost four kilos from his normal race weight, as he attempts to end the summer with a glorious double under his belt.

"In cycling the Olympics doesn't rank highly, it is not a prestigious event, but as a Great Britain athlete to compete for the flag I was born under, is a big thing," Cavendish said. "It brings extra motivation. That is why I am changing [my training]. I will not be as successful in the Tour de France as I have been in the past.

"I will win stages but I may not win five. My sprint has suffered a little bit but the guys who are sprinters like I was won't be there in the finish [of the Olympics]. It is not going to be a bunch sprint. There will be a group of less than 50 riders at the finish and I have to be there with those guys.

"The most important part of what I have been doing is getting to the finish. I am so much faster than the others anyway I can afford to lose a few percent in the sprint in order to be able to get to the line. It is worth it this one year, especially when the team is concentrating on the GC. It is worth doing that for the Olympics."

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