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by Shane Stokes
Mark Cavendish was quickly up to speed on the opening stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey, hurtling home to take what was his third victory of the year and also the first race leader’s jersey.
After beating Elia Viviani (Cannondale), Theo Bos (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) plus the rest of the main field, he sat down with the press and spoke for several minutes about the stage and the significance of his win.
For Cavendish, reaching the top step of the podium after several weeks out of competition confirmed to him that he is on track. “I knew my condition would be okay, that it wouldn’t be bad, but I didn’t know if I would have zip as I haven’t raced for more than a month,” he said. “But when I kicked at the end, I felt good.
“I am really happy with that; I’m really happy with my feelings and I’m really happy to be leading the Tour of Turkey for the first time.”
In the video above he also details the work the team did to set him up for victory and how he overcame complications at the end of the stage. He also talks about his sprinting collaboration with Mark Renshaw and how it feels to be reunited with the Australian.
Cavendish has changed his build-up to the Tour de France and is aiming to arrive at the start line fresher than last year. He’s pleased with his sensations at this point of the season, but also knows that there is a long way to go before the Tour’s opening stage in Yorkshire.
“It is too early to get carried away with thinking I’m on top form. I don’t want to take it for granted that I won today,” he said. “Greipel wasn’t sprinting and ultimately there was a headwind and Theo [Bos] went early. So I won’t get carried away … but I’m really happy with that.”