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by Shane Stokes
Getting his mojo back after a sometimes-difficult 2013 season, Mark Cavendish’s second successive victory in the Presidential Tour of Turkey has boosted his morale. It has also increased his expectation that he will be stronger in the Tour de France this year than last season, and thus better able to fight with rivals such as Marcel Kittel.
“My form is really good. I feel like I’m not going deep in the race, I’m not struggling throughout the race, that I’m able to just ride and get the zip, that pointed end of my form from the race,” he said after winning Monday’s second stage. “It is exactly what I wanted. [I can] go and do some specific worthwhile training. I can know exactly what my condition will be in the Tour de France, rather than trying to guess it.”
Cavendish beat Francesco Chicchi (Yellow Fluo) and Niccolo Bonifazio (Lampre-Merida) to the line in Kemer, profiting from a strong lead-out from his team. In doing so he reinforced his grip on the leader’s jersey and repaid his team for their strong work.
“It was really nice to get a second win here in the Tour of Turkey in as many days. Today, it was a harder sprint, it was slightly uphill with a headwind. There were big roads in the final so it was easy to get swamped. But Omega Pharma-QuickStep did an incredible job in the final, absolutely textbook.
“They had to go deeper, they had to go very deep to do it, but they really put it out for there. I am super happy and I couldn’t have done it today without the team.”
In the video above Cavendish discusses these points and also talks about his expectations for the remainder of the race. He accepts that he will lose the race lead tomorrow but will focus his efforts on netting more stages. Providing that goes well, taking the points jersey to the finish in Istanbul could also be an option.